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Photo by TJ Turner/Sidecar

Ever eaten a hot dog with chopsticks? I hadn’t either, until I dined at Kyatchi, a new Japanese-ish restaurant at 38th and Nicollet, which offers a few such outliers amidst a menu of sushi, noodle dishes, and rice bowls. Kyatchi is a low-key neighborhood eatery backed by Kim Bartmann (Barbette, Pat’s Tap, etc.), with soothing charm in the vein of Tanpopo or Obento Ya. Yet while the concept is spot-on, the menu’s consistency isn’t. Among the spare, elegant nigiri, sashimi, and rolls—made vegetarian or with sustainably sourced fish—is beautiful pressed sushi. The blocks of perfect rice topped with pungent mackerel or pinky-orange salmon with delicate lemon slices are a little spendy but delicious. There are also nice mix-and-match options: miso-marinated cod, skewered shishito peppers. But a few meh orders (seaweed salad or the side of bland, pasty Japanese potato salad that disappoints the otherwise tasty hot dogs) can leave one lacking inspiration to return. •kyatchi.com.

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