Although the raw and cooked fish here is stellar, Kiko is best-known for country-style Japanese fare. This clean, bright space in the Fountains Center offers food you'd discover a farmer serving to guests in the old country. Ramen and other noodle dishes are outstanding, as is the deep-fried pork cutlet with panko breading, a true comfort food. Try nabemono, with vegetables cooked together in a clay pot, or yakimono, with various samplings of meats or seafood in different sauces, or the Japamerican hybrid omerice. The provincial fare is heartier and less delicate usual -- a departure form our usual strip-mall sushi spots. But it's authentic and served with artistic flair.
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The late Japanese director Juzo Itami opened his famous '80s film Tampopo with an amusing disquisition on the proper way to eat soup. A Zen master's acolyte wants to know: When faced with the bowl -- soup first? Or noodles? "First, ...
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