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Soto anyone?

Soto is pretty far for me, but the lunch menu looks like a real bargain. Anyone been there yet?

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  1. i went the day it opened, around 5. they didn't have any HH prices and it was very expensive, especially the location. the inside was really beautiful, but they were insanely overstaffed to the point that i was getting frustrated with how many people kept interrupting me to say hello and ask if everything was fine. the things i had were just meh (roasted eggplant not trimmed well and was swimming in oil, and then the tempura oysters were oversalted to the point they hurt my tongue). didn't invest in the $$$ raw fish after that, and decided to let them hammer things out for a few months before returning. if the lunch prices are a bargain, i would say try it, since they have had a few weeks to iron the wrinkles.

    1 Reply
    1. re: dinaofdoom

      checked the lunch menu, and the prices seem pretty reasonable for what you are getting so you might as well try it.

    2. I've heard glowing things from several friends...looking forward to trying it in the near future!

      1 Reply
      1. re: Optimista

        thrillist posted about it today.
        the pics looked good and it seemed more interesting.
        since i went on the first day, i planned to go back anyway.
        perhaps i'll go sooner rather than later, if they have worked out the kinks.

      2. Had lunch there today. I know nothing about Japanese food and do not eat Sushi, but the noodle lunch was very tasty. My co-worker had sushi and said it was very good. These people obviously spent a lot of money on finish-out and they seem to have many more employees than is necessary. The location is just awful. Stuck between a fabric store and a party supply store.

        Overall, I'd say the food was very good quality and slightly overpriced. The service was excellent. Wish them luck, but afraid the location will be their downfall.

        5 Replies
        1. re: PappyAustin

          i feel the same way: the interior is so pricey and overdone for the area. i was getting seriously annoyed with how many staff were all over me. meanwhile, you go to osaka mansun down the road and they have like, 2 people waiting tables for a busy lunch rush, but they get it done.

          1. re: dinaofdoom

            I can't even determine where the hell this place is located. This is their "contact" information:

            http://sotoaustin.com/contact

            1. re: rudeboy

              Lakeline Mall complex, it looks like.

              1. re: rudeboy

                It's between Hancock Fabrics (used to be World Market) and Party City. It is across the parking lot from Best Buy.

                1. re: amykragan

                  yeah, it's in the shopping plaza surrounding the mall. tj maxx, bed bath & beyond, and toys r us are the stores you can see from 183.

          2. Went for the first time today and spent 77 dollars on lunch with tip for the two of us. We quite enjoyed it. The place is very nicely laid out, dimly lit but bright enough, nice appointments. Two servers were handling lunch and the service was fine.

            Best: Kumamato oysters, 3$ each, presented in the shell in a nice bowl of ice with a splash of vinegar and a teeny dollop of caviar. very creamy and fresh. We enjoyed watching the artful shucking and prep.

            Great: Green Tea Tiramisu - just get it, outstanding. The dish was presented in a glass set in a bowl that had a sweet sort of green tea sauce. excellent.

            Great: Shrimp tempura. About 8 inches long and filled with shrimp and nicely fried. $3 dollars each.

            Great: Chef selection sashimi lunch. Salad dressing is a tad too sweet but well done classic ginger sesame dressing and the nice greens we both noted were cold and fresh enough to actually be nicely crunchy. very good. The sashimi was fresh, no off tastes, and included the standards and was elegantly presented. I think that was about 14 bucks.

            Great: Her sushi lunch combo. She scarfed it.

            Combos came with miso soup and the small salad.

            Greasy: The eggplant tempura as previously noted was a bit on the greasy side, but we both enjoyed it enough. Just might not get that tempura again. I'll stick to those shrimp.

            1 Reply
            1. re: slowcoooked

              i've gone with a coworker for weekday lunches a few times, and really like it. i'm gluten free now so my options have been limited, but they are very accommodating. i get the sashimi lunch and it's super fresh and tasty, and the presentation (huge bowl of ice chips lit with an LED light) is very flashy. my dining companion is making his way through all the ramens. he said the tonkatsu was good, which was our first visit. once we brought someone else who got a few drinks, including an unfiltered sake served in a wooden box as a cup. th
              e lunch apps are super expensive. it would be best to get a lunch entree and maybe a roll or 2 to share for the table as an app.

            2. Wife and I went on our anniversary last week. We kinda went all out and had...

              Enoki Mushroom Soup - Very delicate and nice depth of mushrooms. Lesser places would overcompensate with extra salt.

              Spicy Avocado Salad - The menu description: "avocado, cucumber, crabstick, flying fish roe, mixed with spicy mayo". This was also very good, but in light of everything else we ordered, this was a tad heavy in retrospect.

              Jalapeno Hamachi - Very nice warm up to the main show.

              Soto Sashimi Maki - tuna, king salmon, hamachi, albacore wrapped in cucumber. I loved that this didn't have any rice. Keeps that "oh my god i'm full" feeling at bay so you can really enjoy the nigiri...

              Nigiri (they are one per order) - Eel, mackerel, white tuna, toro, uni, and shiitake mushroom. The mackerel is my gold standard for any sushi place, because it can start getting really fishy if it's not really fresh. Soto's is the best I've ever had, period. All of their fish is so noticably fresh that it's easily in the eschelon of Uchi, and far above Mushashino, Tomo, and others big players in town. The uni had been flown in from California that day, per our waitress, and was just lovely. The shiitake mushroom nigiri was just for kicks, but turned out to be a real jaw-dropper.

              Red bean creme brulee - creme brulee on top, red beans underneath. Hell yeah.

              Like many others have posted, it's a really pretty restaurant in a really strange location. But it's not far from where I live, so it's nice to have some really top-notch Asian chow up here since Spin closed. Service was attentive but not overbearing like some others experienced. It's pricey, but I feel like the quality of the food and the craftsmanship in the kitchen suits the price point.

              1 Reply
              1. re: jwynne2000

                so glad you posted that, jwynne. i've been really impressed with the freshness and quality of the fish when going for lunch, and was considering doing an all-out dinner for my upcoming birthday.