Thursday, September 07, 2006

Koto - Near Albany Airport

I'm a member of the Japanese Cultural Association of the Capital District. We meet at various restaurants. We used to go to Miyako in Guilderland, but the service was generally slow, and we had a really bad day when we had 30-40 people and it took over 3 hours, so the group stopped meeting there. I still go to Miyako a lot, probably more than twice a month.

Anyway, JCACD meets at Ichiban usually (it's cheap, but I'm not fond of it), but they've started going to other places. Tonight we went to Koto, which is on Old Wolf Road in Latham, not far from the airport.

The interior was very nice, though it seemed a little noisy. I'd like to give a full description of the food, but due to the circumstances of our dinner I didn't try as many things as I might usually. I decided to go for sushi. I had the "Sex on the Beach" roll along with the Chirashi.

As you might guess, the "Sex on the Beach" roll is not traditional Japanese cuisine. It had three different kinds of fish along with avocado and something else, maybe something with a little crunch to it (I'm guessing shrimp tempura, but that's a guess only). The roll was fine, but at $14 for that one roll, it didn't live up to my expectation.

Chirashi is a fairly common sushi dish in Japan. In my experience it's normally a bowl of rice with various pieces of fish on top. I ordered it because that gives you a chance to try a few different kinds of fish and you get to taste the fish itself, rather than the stuff loaded into a funky roll. It was not what I expected, but not terrible. It came out on a large plate with a larger than usual amount of rice. There was less fish than I would have thought (again, since it was a bit pricey), and it included crabsticks and tamago (like scrambled egg). I didn't think the fish was first-class. Don't get me wrong - it wasn't bad. But it didn't taste quite as fresh as what you'll get at Yoshi's or Miyako. Before I forget, Koto did a good job of presentation - the food was presented on nice plates in manner that's somewhat attractive, though not on the traditional types of dishes and bowls one might see in Japan.

I don't feel my experience was enough to give a thorough review. I will probably go again with my wife and/or others and order a few appetizers and a couple main courses so we can get a better sense of the place.

I should also mention that while dinner is a bit expensive, they appear to have a reasonable lunch menu that might make sense for those on a budget. It will probably never be a regular place for me due to location and my preference for other places, but I'll give it another shot.

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