Who: Soto Japanese Kitchen and Sushi Bar What: Upscale-casual Japanese restaurant serves sushi, cocktails & more amid a sleek, grey & black space. When: Monday to Friday 11am – 3pm, 5pm – 10pm, Saturday 11am – 11pm, Sunday 11am – 9pm Where: 11066 Pecan Park Blvd #402, Cedar Park, TX 78613 Why: I can’t write about Soto without a big smile on my face, and I can’t believe it took me so long to experience this Cedar Park Japanese and Sushi gem. Soto is unassuming situated in a shopping complex off of Lakeline Boulevard. It’s marked by two big wooden doors that lead you to this taste oasis. But once you’re inside, you see that there is a large sushi counter, for which the rest of the restaurant feels to revolve around. I was invited to meet Chef Andy Okamoto and to try items off of his menu, so the restaurant made sure to provide me a seat at the counter. The restaurant is quite big and can accommodate large parties, but if you’re in the need for a nice date night or celebration spot, then getting to sit right in front of the action is the most magical experience for you. You are watching Chef and his colleagues slice, cut, prepare, and place dishes with the absolute best precision and artistic form, and it’s like a show unfolding just for you. They started me with a single oyster that sat on this bed of rock salt, lit up with a neon light. It was followed by a japanese ceviche made with grapefruit, mandarines and jalapenos. I had white salmon topped with truffles, Kobe Beef Ishiyaki served on a stone top fire pot, and a Seared Salmon and Tuna that came out literally on fire. The dishes were each unique in their own way, but they told a story of precision and passion. Everything on the plate was there out of necessity, because without it, the dish simply wouldn’t be. This place is what makes being a foodie so enjoyable, to see the dishes, and to watch the preparation it came together for me so wonderfully. And I hope you’ll give yourself the chance to go witness and taste it for yourselves. Be sure to also follow along with my daily adventures on Instagram @DineWithShayda. And watch my insta stories for behind the scenes scoops on what goes on at these food events!