Listen to Austin 360 Radio

GQ names Austin-born sushi restaurant one of America's Best New Restaurants

Matthew Odam
Chef Otto Phan, who started Kyoten in a trailer in East Austin, now owns a restaurant named one of the Best New Restaurant in America by GQ. [JAY JANNER /AMERICAN-STATESMAN]

GQ’s Brett Martin today published his list of the Best New Restaurants in America, and as usual, the narrative piece offers a fascinating look at the changing American culinary landscape. Martin, who can turn list-style pieces into compelling longform as well as anyone in the business, examines a triumvirate of restaurant styles he classifies as Restaurants of Refuge (Georgia James in Houston), Restaurants of Resistance (Indigo in Houston) and Restaurants of Derangement. While he doesn’t specifically classify Chicago omakase restaurant Kyoten in the third group, his descriptions make that categorization quite obvious.

Martin, who first sampled University of Texas graduate Otto Phan’s hand at raw fish at lunch service at the original Kyoten restaurant at Mueller (a trailer in East Austin came first), returns with this list to Chicago, Phan’s new home. The tiny omakase made the list on the strengths of its Edomae style sushi and the outsized confidence of its enigmatic master in training. Head to to read about the two Houston restaurants, one Austin-born restaurant and other 12 that made the annual list.

And for those in Austin missing Kyoten, remember that the restaurant will reopen under chef Sarah Cook sometime in May, as we recently reported.


From 2016: Restaurant review: Sublime sushi and a surreal night at Kyoten Sushiko

From 2014: Sushi chef practices passion, precision at unexpected location

Austin360 Dining Guide: 2017(#14) | 2016 (#7)