If you read this blog with any regularity, then you are well aware of my absolute idolization of former Atlanta resident and world-renowned super chef Sotohiro Kosugi. Kosugi crushed us all when he took his game to the big apple. As it turns out, some people who read my review decided to stop in on Soto on a recent trip to NYC. What follows is a recap of their trip to his namesake sushi bar. While they are most definitely fond of food, I think it’s nice to get some perspective on here from people who aren’t “foodies.”
“Everyone wants to go to heaven but nobody wants to die.” So do the next best thing: treat yourself to a dining experience at Soto in the West Village of Manhattan at 357 6th Ave. The building is minimalist white with some straight black lines and no sign, just the street numbers, as if to discourage the unworthy. Inside is a modest version of Japanese Moderne with soft woods and good lighting.
The food, however, is anything but minimalist or modest. The menu apparently changes daily but for first timers I would recommend the name-your-price Omakase, or chef’s choice. What followed in the next hour was a parade of incredible tastes and textures. There were about fifteen or sixteen different items but I will describe just a few highlights. Our first item was the ‘goma tofu,’ a black and white sesame tofu with the texture of a crème brule and a subtle soy and sesame flavor. Later the ‘kampachi tar tare’ or chopped Hawaiian amber jack with wasabi tobiko and pine nuts was served with a soy foam that was light and airy, melting on your tongue. Another dish mixed chopped fatty tuna with an avocado coulis, garnished with caviar and chives in sesame ponzu sauce, a virtual symphony of flavor. Other remarkable elements of dishes include: steamed lotus root, braised black cod, sashimi sea trout, and more. The desert was red bean ice cream encased in a doughy ‘skin’ that offered a taste, texture and temperature experience in one mouthful.
The next time you want to take Japanese cuisine to a higher level, beyond sushi and sashimi, try this place, the food’s ‘to die for.’
Fred & Kathy Marks
Soto Japanese Restaurant Address & Information
357 Ave Of The Americas New York, NY 10014 // 212.414.3088