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Fearless Critic restaurant review
Upmarket restaurant

Mon–Thu 11:00am–10:00pm
Fri–Sat 11:00am–10:30pm
Sun 5:00pm–10:00pm

Features Wi-Fi
Bar Beer, wine
Credit cards Visa, MC, AmEx
Reservations Accepted


Far North Austin
9033 Research Blvd.
Austin, TX
(512) 833-8188
Mikado Ryotei
This strip-mall class act’s got good lunchtime sushi, and pricey Tex-anese fusions by night

Mikado is, technically, a strip-mall Japanese restaurant, but it’s self-aware enough to have modern, eye-catching décor. The waitstaff is cute, the lighting is low, there’s a big wine rack in the middle of everything. But that rack consists of overpriced mini-mart bottles; even the few sakes worth ordering (in the 300mL bottle only) boast the highest markups in town. While we’re at it, the nigiri here even surpasses Uchi in price. But it’s undeniably delicious, the cuts aren’t inappropriately humongous, and the rice is well seasoned. Uni is always buttermilky and creamy, and toro isn’t served overchilled, an all-too-common practice that hardens the fat. Tough octopus is the only repeat offender here.

Robata dishes are a strong suit, even if the selection of oak-charcoal-grilled meats is more Texan than traditional: delicious steak, mushrooms, and smoked shrimp. Grilled quail’s a knockout, though, rubbed with sea salt and yuzu. And yellowtail collar, moist but with a little char in places, is sublime.

Meanwhile, fusion permeates the cooked dishes. “Nagano Duck VSOP” is marinated in French cognac, brushed with black pepper and shoyu, and served with sautéed Asian greens. A bento box is a good lunch deal, with nigiri, rolls, salad, and miso soup. And it’s a rare feat, for this area, to eat a lunch that won’t return you to work in a starch coma.

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