Thursday, March 09, 2006

Koto's: No No

Last night, searching for something new and craving good Japanese food, I went to Koto's Japanese Steak House, which is located on Wolf Road (actually, it's right before you turn onto Wolf Road from the 87 exit). There were plenty of people there on a Wednesday night, which is always nice, and the decor was attractive, with a fountain and bridge as you walk in. It's also fun to watch the hibatchi cookers; we sat right next to one, and watched as the chef stir-fried shrimp, meat, and veggies. Those diners looked happy, and the food on the hibatchi looked good.

From there, though, I am sorry to report my experience was not a good one, food-wise. Other people have given poor marks to the service (a Metroland review, as well as anonymous posters on the Times Union review site), but my complaint is with the food. The service was fine for me.

I ordered the bento, a box which comes with all your courses at once: salad, in this case shrimp dumplings, crab sushi, and salmon teriyaki. The dumplings were okay but pretty flavorless overall; the sushi, ditto, with the crab (cooked) being pretty unspectacular and most likely frozen. The salmon was poor: dry and thin, with a lousy excuse for a brown teriyaki sauce that had a consistency of mucus or egg whites and was too sweet. That should just not happen with a sauce. It seemed like store-bought sauce, not fresh or homemade.

It was edible, but that's about all I can say for my meal.

Ditto my dining partner: he ordered the udon with vegetable noodles, and I tried some. They were overcooked and almost completely flavorless.

I tried to make up for all this by sucking on my hot sake, but we won't be going back there. Oh, and with tip, the meal cost us near $50-- not a bargain by any measure, and I ordered only the one drink and no dessert. It seems like the kind of place that gets a lot of business just by being next to the airport hotels, but frankly, you'd be better off further down Wolf Road at Emperor's Chinese or Bangkok Thai.


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Richard said...

I have been there a few times and while the normal dining is quite mediocre I think you would find the Hibachi very good, we did.