Sliding quietly back into the Platt Park restaurants landscape in September was a familiar name–Ototo Den—back for a third try. First there was the Den Deli, which rather quickly morphed into the first rendition of Ototo Den, which was shuttered in 2012, as performance was not meeting owner Toshi Kizaki’s high standards. Does Toshi have it right this time? Time will tell but the early results are encouraging. The restaurant had a soft, invitation-only opening for the first two weeks in September and reservations filled all available tables in less than two hours. Great attention was given during that time to gain feedback from clients on everything from food presentation, taste, quantity, restaurant décor, food service…you get the idea.
The idea behind Ototo Den is to bring to Pearl Street something that is everyday-common in Japan, a casual place to go with friends to share plates of food, have some drinks and socialize—kind of the Japanese version of the local pub/grill. The interior has been substantially remodeled but still feels much like the old Ototo, which was always a pleasant space. Large roll up glass garage doors invite the outside in to the warm wood-rich interior. Conspicuously missing from the menu is sushi, which is in keeping with this style of restaurant—so I’m told. The menu features a dozen wonderful items from the grill (Japanese robata-style). Various types of ramen and udon noodles and a wonderful array of Tapas style small entrees to share, all showing off Toshi’s unique culinary style. We certainly loved it and look forward to returning. I suspect the third time will be the charm! A great new/old addition to the Platt Park restaurants scene. Located across from Sushi Den at 1501 S Pearl Street. For more information visit their website: http://ototoden.com/
See you around the neighborhood,