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Tyson Cole swears he didn’t set out to transform the Austin dining scene when he opened Uchi in a 1920s bungalow 12 years ago; he simply wanted the “creative freedom to get other people as addicted to Japanese food as I was.” But he did both, becoming the first American itamae to receive a James Beard Award for Best Chef and opening a larger but no less warmly chic spinoff, Uchiko, along the way. Despite the expansion, there’s no room here for pretension: for all his technical mastery and cutting-edge proclivities, Cole’s menus change often and range widely enough to appeal to novices as well as connoisseurs, who can compare, say, three different kinds of sea urchin while their warier companions sample tempura-fried Brie alongside “clean, crisp, light” sakes and white wines.
801 S Lamar Blvd
|Cross street:||at Juliet St|
|Opening hours:||Sun–Thu 5–10pm, Fri–Sat 5-11pm|
|Do you own this business?|