Campus & Community / Magazine Feature

Sushi Den’s ‘younger brother’ to reopen on Pearl as Ototo

An incarnation of Den Deli and Seafood Market will open on South Pearl Street later this month, but with a new name, new dishes paired with wine and sake, and organic Japanese vegetables from the owners’ farm.

The reinvented restaurant at 1501 S. Pearl St. is the younger brother of the highly regarded Sushi Den and Izakaya Den at Florida Avenue and South Pearl. For that reason, explained co-owner Yasu Kizaki, the restaurant will be called Ototo, a play on words that is similar to the Japanese word for “younger brother” and to a word that children in rural Japan use for “fish.”

“It’s really an expansion of Den Deli,” Kizaki says. “But it’s not a tapas bar.”

Lunch at Ototo will function as it did at Den Deli, which opened about a year ago and offered a rotating menu of ready-made sushi, prepared foods and a Japanese-style ramen noodle bar. But dinner offerings will expand, Kizaki says, with dishes specially paired for a selected array of wine and sake.

The dishes also will boast fresh organic Japanese vegetables grown on a recently purchased 6.5-acre farm in Brighton.

“[Izakaya Den executive chef] Darren Pusateri has already been making a daily visit to our Den Farm to harvest vegetables.”

Kazaki said he plans to construct a greenhouse on the Brighton property so the flow of fresh food is continual.

Capacity of the renovated restaurant is about 65, he said. Ototo will include a bar and be open to the public about Nov. 20

“It was a beautiful building,” he says. “We made it even more beautiful.”

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