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Kyōten, an intimate omakase experience by Chef Otto Phan, is planning on opening something new next door at 2513 W Armitage Ave.
The original upscale omakase sushi restaurant takes a unique approach to sushi as a discipline, based on the values of purity, harmony, and balance. The menu price typically ranges from $220 to $490 per person, with the experience lasting about two hours. Now, Phan and Su Yang have applied for a liquor license for the adjacent space, potentially doing business as “Kyōten Next Door.” Phan declined to provide What Now Chicago with details, saying it was too soon to say what it would be named or when it would open.
Phan opened Kyōten Sushiko in Austin, TX, before expanding to Chicago in 2018 and shortening the moniker to Kyōten. If the new restaurant is anything like Phan’s flagship Chicago restaurant next door, customers can expect a high-end dining experience in a minimalistic setting. This may be a scaled-down version of Kyōten, focusing on alcohol, considering the new space used to be a little combo liquor store/bar called DrinkShop. Before opening Kyōten Sushiko, chef Otto learned his craft under Tatsu Aikawa and Tako Matsumoto.
“Shari (sushi rice) is central to the core philosophies here,” according to Kyoten’s website. “Kyōten uses a very special and exclusive varietal of rice from Japan called Inochi no Ichi, the first restaurant in the US to use this particular grain. Our shari is boldly seasoned with the intense taste of aged red vinegar. Different vinegar blends are used so that they can be compatible with different kinds of fish. Unity and togetherness between fish and rice is what make exceptional sushi. The two should be like lovers with a sense of deep belonging to each other. Finding the togetherness of ingredients is what drives our menu in all aspects: taste, timing, order, and menu format. “