Word of Mouth

Review preview: Ototo Food and Wine Bar

Toshi and Yasu Kizaki have been serving Pearl Street for two decades, first with Sushi Den, which they opened in its current home twenty years ago, and then again with Izakaya Den, which first started serving dinner in 2007.

Both of those spots pack crowds into cavernous spaces every day of the week, and last fall the brothers offered a third option: Ototo Food and Wine Bar.

For this week's review, I visited Ototo, which morphed from Den Deli last fall, changing from a quick-service Japanese deli counter to a full-scale restaurant, with a menu split between European and Japanese dishes and a beverage list to match.

I nibbled through Ototo's global gamut of small plates, including the egg in a jar, a layered concoction from chef Darren Pusatari that he put together for us here: Did the youngest restaurant live up to the reputations of its prestigious older siblings? Find out tomorrow, when the review is posted here.

And on Cafe Society tomorrow, I'll fill you in on what happened when Ototo was forced to close for a week -- the week when my review was originally supposed to run.

Follow @CafeWestword on Twitter

KEEP WESTWORD FREE... Since we started Westword, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Denver, and we'd like to keep it that way. With local media under siege, it's more important than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" program, allowing us to keep offering readers access to our incisive coverage of local news, food and culture with no paywalls.
Laura Shunk was Westword's restaurant critic from 2010 to 2012; she's also been food editor at the Village Voice and a dining columnist in Beijing. Her toughest assignment had her drinking ten martinis and eating ten Caesar salads over the course of 48 hours. She still drinks martinis, but remains lukewarm on Caesar salads.
Contact: Laura Shunk