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Uchi

James Beard Award-winning chef Tyson Cole's ultramodern restaurant is a much-welcomed Austin import. It didn’t take long for Uchi to gain a loyal following and years after its opening it still manages to pack the house, so reservations are imperative for those who want to sit in the steely-chic dining room. Otherwise, walk-ins can usually be accommodated at the surprisingly cozy bar or just hang out for drinks on the patio. A spot-on sake list (as well as beer and wine) accompanies a menu of "hot" and "cold" tastings such as machi cure with smoked yellowtail (aka “Japanese nachos”) along with more traditional Japanese items including sushi, sashimi and rolls. Happy hour is every weekday and offers smaller portions of some of Uchi's favorites like walu walu (oak-grilled escolar) and fried chicken karaage at drastically reduced prices.

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