Signage is up for Ototo, the upcoming sake bar opening soon next door to Tsubaki. The former salon is now deep in construction on its next phase, and should be open by late fall or early summer.
Ototo comes from Tsubaki owners Courtney Kaplan and chef Charles Namba. The pair first pushed into their small Echo park space in February of last year, and quickly found that the locals and destination diners were filling up the tiny dining room to capacity. They hatched a plan last summer to grow into the neighboring space, adding seats and opening up the adjoining wall for fluid service. At the time, Kaplan and Namba thought the next-door address would simply be overflow dinner seating, but later decide to debut Ototo, a laid back, sake-focused bar.
Whereas Tsubaki acts as a refined Japanese izakaya, Ototo will focus almost exclusively on small-batch sakes, Japanese craft beers, and shochu. There will also be some drinking food available from a small menu from Tsubaki’s kitchen. The idea is similar to the recently-opened Bar Calo down the street in Echo Park, which operates as an offshoot of all-day restaurant Ostrich Farm, but with its own focus on mezcal and small bites.
Signage is up now for Ototo, and the plan is to be open in just a couple of months. Just don’t confuse the name with Otoño, the Spanish tapas spot in Highland Park that’s scheduled to come online around the same time, if not sooner.
Ototo. 1360 Allison Ave., Los Angeles.
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