We found this place accidentally and was pretty glad we did. The place only has a few tables but it had a nice cozy ambiance to it. There was only one waitress but she was very nice, had an insane urge to keep refilling our tea cups it was almost funny.
The food was great, it came beautifully presented and it tasted good. The pricing was awesome, my buddies and I were expecting about 30 bucks more than the bill that was given to us as we ordered a lot. Will be coming back here again when in Richmond and in the mood for Japanese.
I would have to say that ths is probably the closest to authentic you can get for a non authentic Japanese restaurant. I wouldn't say this is an izakaya though. The food is fresh and delicious. I can tell there is a lot of care in the preparation. The Kamikaze roll is to die for, the combination of of ally the ingrdients go so well together and I love the fact that they roast the sesame seeds- it really makes a difference in the taste. The owner lady is nice but the only thing is that the place is quite small and sometimes gets quite loud with groups of people playing drinking games and being rowdy. One of our favorite late night spots for great sushi.
The only reason i tried this place was because of a recommendation from my boss. I thought yeah yeah ok, whatever, its another sushi place in Richmond... and it is- but its really good!
Food: the food and the quality is totally excellent. I love and recommend the old fashioned dynamite roll- its drizzled with mayo and eel sauce- its amazing. And the fire cracker balls (haha- i know) so good!
Service: im pretty sure this is a family owned business and they are absolutely lovely. they arent pushy but they will answer your questions politely.
Value: the prices are fair considering the amount and quality of food they serve.
Ambiance: its your typical sushi place- small 2 person tables, hello kitty covered walls, japanese pictures and dolls everywhere and bad, bad music lol. the restaurant itself is quite small but thats ok- i kind of like it.
If you havent been here before I highly recommend it. I love, LOVE sushi and this is my new favourite place to go in Richmond.
Food: The menu is surely impressive with a huge amount of choices. There were at least 15 specialty rolls, lots of robata items, nigiri, sashimi, salads, noodles and a lot more. For appetizers, I had the Ahi Tuna carpaccio. I love Ahi Tuna, but the dish I received just tasted so fishy and was certainly not very enjoyable. The wakami salad was pretty average, nothing special. My party of four had two specialty rolls to share: the Rainbow roll and the Mango Hamachi roll. The Rainbow roll was not bad, but I expected it to have some sort of sauce on top to add more flavor (as is common on specialty rolls), which it didn't. Without the sauce, it really didn't have much flavor. The Mango Hamachi roll was again average, nothing that really got me saying "wow". The salmon belly was again, a little lacking in flavor. According to the one that had the chirashi bowl, the sashimi didn't taste super fresh, just average.
Service: There's only one waitress and shereally polite, but when she took our order, she used some electronic device which I thought was really unnecessary considering she could probably remember our order because we were the only table. In fact, we received a California roll when we didn't even order it because apparently, a table that had left already had ordered it and she forgot to take it off the system. She did take it away and explain to us what had happened though. One thing that annoyed me was that we only got our tea refilled two times when the cups were tiny, so we didn't get much tea.
Value: The specialty rolls start at around 9.99 and go up to 13.99 or 14.99 I believe. This price is reasonable for specialty rolls which come in 8 pieces, but for the quality and taste, I don't really feel like it's worth it. Overall, the prices are about the same as most sushi places in Richmond if not a little higher but they do have some more innovative dishes which makes up for it I guess.
Ambiance: We had a reservation at 6pm which turned out not to be necessary anyway because we were the only table for half of our meal; later on, one other table arrived but that was it. I thought the emptiness and silence was kind of awkward. Izakayas are usually more of a loud place, full of hustle and bustle, but Koto is just not that. Maybe they get busier later at night. The seating capacity is only 60 so this is a small place and the seats are already quite tight. Most of the seating are booths with only a few tables with free standing chairs. The decor is not like that you would find at Izakayas in Vancouver like Kingyo, Hapa or Guu; it's just like your average sushi place in Richmond like Daimasu. There is one LCD TV which can be viewed from most of the room; when we were there, it was on the AMC channel showing some war movie without captions or anything, so you couldn't really watch anyway, but I guess it would be good for watching sports.
My friend recommended me to go to this sushi place in Richmond and to be honest...I really didnt think it was different from the other sushi places I have been to but i went anyways. When I stepped in the restaurant, it wasn't really big but it looked comfy and comfortable with alot of bright lights and advertisements. What amazed me was how fast the hostess came and seated me and my girlfriend. She was really friendly. I wouldn't say the prices for the food was cheap, but it's just like all the other sushi restaurants i've been to prices. To say honestly the food is better than others. I especially love their beef udon. It's pretty big and its beef is very soft and juicy sided with some broccoli and naruto, and sprinkled with some onions. It tasted really good! The food was fast but what was best about the restaurant was the ambiance. They treat you like family and they're really friendly. What made me like the restaurant the most was it was not too big, it was very comfortable and it had everything from decorations, tv's, and it's just a really nice a cozy feeling when you sit down and eat. Good dining experience for me. I'll definately go there again and recommend my friends as well. :)
Koto Izakaya is a shining star in the over-populated Japanese restaurant scene that is the lower mainland.
Specializing in sushi (amazing specialty rolls) and Robata (Japanese BBQ or grilled items) Koto offers all of the standards and some wonderful surprises for the beginner to gourmet Japanese diner.
Located on Alexandra road in Richmond, Koto is central to all areas and in the middle of the asian dining "scene" in Richmond
Some of the items that stand-out are the Volcano Roll, Salmon on the Beach Roll, Black Dragon Roll and Old Fashion Dynamite roll (my faves but you can't go wrong with any of the specialty rolls). "Karubi" (short-ribs) are marinated in house and are the best you'll ever taste, lamb chops, bacon wrapped scallops and about 20 other beautifully grilled items round out the robata list
As far as appetizers go , try the beef carpaccio for a change-up on the traditional styled beef sashimi.
If you're a seasoned nigiri sushi eater and you want to change it up, try the Ika ten ten which is sliced squid in a spicy peanut sauce on rice wrapped with nori.
When I say that the value is incredible, I don't mean that it's the cheapest. If you want cheap go to one of the many b-rate $12.00 per person all you can eat's in the area. However if you want top quality fish (specialty rolls use dungeness crab), innovative dishes and thoughtfully prepared meals at a fraction of what you would pay for the same thing downtown, enjoy the relaxing atmosphere, sip some premium sake or beer and see why Koto is my choice establishment a minimum of 3 times a week!
That said they have also introduced a late-nite menu that starts at 9pm and goes till 1:30am and is priced very well with no sacrifice to the quality, they are also open for lunch Monday - Friday, if you order a bento box you'll be out of there with a quality fresh made meal cheaper than a combo at a fast-food restaurant.