Fresh Japanese

SN&R Illustration By Mark Stivers

I always liked visiting the old Oto’s on Freeport Boulevard, so I was excited about the long-delayed opening of the expanded new Oto’s Marketplace, just a short distance away, a couple of weeks ago. It’s much more spacious, and there were more Western foods along with the Japanese fare the store emphasizes—the soba noodles were right by Annie’s mac and cheese, and Pocky was offered cheek by jowl with Newman-O’s. But you can still get the super-fresh, delicious sushi (I picked up a great rainbow roll for lunch), prepared foods like chicken teriyaki bento, and plenty of other treats: tempting lozenge-shaped chocolate-filled marshmallows (it turned out the chocolate filling tasted weird, but the idea was great); bags of panko; unusual cuts of meat, like cross-cut short ribs for kalbi; and all the noodles, green tea, and fish-flavored snack foods your heart could desire. A trip to Oto’s always yielded culinary delights. Now, though, it’s an even greater pleasure. 4990 Freeport Boulevard, (916) 424-2398.