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“*** TPAC-Adjacent, Easy Pre-, Post- Show; Broad Menu,”
Review of Koto Sushi Bar

Koto Sushi Bar
Ranked #366 of 2,129 Restaurants in Nashville
Price range: $1 - $20
Cuisines: Sushi, Japanese
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Business meetings
Dining options: Lunch
Neighborhood: Downtown Nashville
Reviewed January 26, 2013

Koto has been in downtown Nashville for at least 20 years and I know plenty of Nashvillians who are devoted Koto-ians and won't eat sushi or Japanese food anywhere else in Nashville.

We eat here exclusively before shows at Nashville's TPAC (Tennessee Performing Arts Center), but at other times we prefer other Japanese restaurants.

I'll share our show-night drill: For an 8:00 show, we make a 6:00 or 6:15 reservation; we park on the street on 5th, 6th, or Deaderick Streets around TPAC, walk a block or two to Koto, eat a leisurely dinner, and we're out the door by 7:15 or 7:30.

Koto has a large and varied menu with not only sushi, but a few Korean items such as bulgogi and kimchee. The food is tasty and well-prepared, but pedestrian, and we've never been particularly impressed. The raw fish has never looked that fantastic, although, maybe, if I'm going to be generous, I'll say that we're never here other than on a weekend night. I like my sushi rolls neat and tight, and Koto's are often irregular and ragged (the rice, that is). We've never eaten at the sushi bar itself, though, where maybe, the rolls are prepared differently.

And I should say that while I'm not dazzled by the food, I eat plenty of it before I go to a show.

Service is pleasant, but not especially warm or engaging.



1  Thank Godenar
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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50 - 54 of 62 reviews

Reviewed October 21, 2012

Short version: very good, more traditional (non-corporate) style sushi restaurant. Pleasant in every way. Fresh, excellent quality sushi at prices below typical. We will visit again.

My wife and I travel extensively and eat out 5-6 times per week. We are particularly fond of sushi and always find one when we travel. The reviews for Koto in Nashville TN sounded inviting so we stopped in on a Friday night.

The environment was pleasant, nothing special but nothing distracting (except the muted TV near the sushi bar, which seems to be unavoidable anymore). We arrived later than prime time so the restaurant was nearly empty. We were warmly greeted. We asked to sit at sushi bar. The sushi chef was the owner, the main waitress was his wife. We talked with him quite a bit, at our instigation.

The menu was extensive with traditional Japanese food as well as Korean. The soft shell crab appetizer was the best that we have had in a long time. Essentially no breading, cooked in oil that was hot enough that the crab was crisp. The grilled squid appetizer was also well prepared. We ordered the large sashimi platter. The sashimi was very fresh and simply presented. The cut size was average but at about 1/2 the price of most major city sushi restaurants. The variety presented was excellent. We ordered several rolls, sticking to the simpler offerings as we find the complex rolls hide the quality of the fish. All were excellent and the amount of rice was good. The uni was fresh and firm. We did not sample the Korean dishes this time but will next visit.

The sake menu was fairly limited and inexpensive, but there were a couple cold sake choices that satisfied. The hot sake was decent quality and average cost; and most importantly not served so hot that the texture was ruined like it is in most Asian restaurants.

We were not hurried or pressured to leave even though we and the sushi chef were the last ones left about a half hour prior to posted closing hours.

Excellent experience, we recommend this restaurant and we will return when visiting Nashville.

1  Thank JWOrtho
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 9, 2012 via mobile

We go here once or twice a year. Food is very average but price is ok. This place has been in Nashville a long time but there are better choices for sushi. Battered and Fried has the best sushi in Nashville. The food here came out less than 10 mins after ordering so I wonder if it is pre-made. If you are staying downtown then check it out but I wouldn't make a special trip into town.

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Thank augustus70
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 30, 2012

I've been a big fan of sushi for a long time and this place reminds me of sushi places before most knew what they were. Nice presentation, excellent fish, good service.

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1  Thank yowally
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 9, 2011

I don't live in downtown Nashville, so I've been to MANY sushi places in the suburbs. I went to Koto with some friends before going to a show at the TPAC. It was pretty good, but nothing that I couldn't get somewhere else. The service that we had was awful, the waitress seemed more annoyed to help us than anything, and we weren't being difficult customers. She forgot to give me a straw with my water, and I wasn't able to catch her attention until she came back with our FOOD. Very frustrating. If you're downtown, then it's your best option. But if you're willing to venture out to the suburbs, you'll find better service.

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Thank Lindsey122012
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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