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Fearless Critic restaurant review
San Antonio
Casual restaurant

Mon–Thu 11:00am–9:00pm
Fri 11:00am–10:00pm
Sat noon–10:00pm

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

Uptown Central
4051 Broadway St.
San Antonio, TX
(210) 805-8111
Koi Kawa Japanese Restaurant & Sushi Bar
Tucked-away Koi Kawa repays the effort to seek it out

Koi Kawa is one of those out-of-sight-out-of-mind places we tend to forget about. But when we do remember, the results are usually rewarding. The sushi bar here is a focus, not a tack-on, and the product is clean and proper; we have always been fond of flying fish roe, and sometimes-strong mackerel here is nicely tamed.

Tempura is another bellwether, and the kitchen sends it out light and crunchy; an order of mixed shrimp and vegetables doesn’t stint on the shellfish, with only the watery mushroom a bore. (Lobster and vegetable tempura is an upscale rendition.) Some dishes aren’t always available, the steamed clams in sake being one of them, but the steamed seafood in “Koi Kawa broth,” presented in a teapot, provides an almost-acceptable substitute—as much for the broth (do not fail to serve yourself in the cup provided) as for the shrimp, fish cake, and dried mushroom. Green tea ice cream (go ahead, add the supplemental sweet red beans, for color if nothing else), is an appropriate end to most meals—though we hope yours manages to move beyond sukiyaki.

Pleasant service and a unique location at the edge of Brackenridge Park add to Koi Kawa’s appeal.

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