Critic’s restaurant pick: finding Japanese flavors in Palm Beach

Crudo power: yellowtail at Imoto. (All photos by Richard Graulich/ The Palm Beach Post)

Crudo power: yellowtail at Imoto. (All photos by Richard Graulich/ The Palm Beach Post)

Central county pick: IMOTO

Like Buccan, its wildly popular big sister next door, Imoto (which means “little sister” in Japanese) prizes quality ingredients, preparation and presentation above all else.

Nothing less is expected from chef/co-owner Clay Conley, who fashioned the bar and eatery from his experiences working and living in Japan. The local star chef, who just reopened Buccan after a massive, 11-day makeover, is set to open a third concept in mid-November, an Italian eatery in West Palm Beach named Grato.

Imoto brings izakaya flavor to Palm Beach.

Imoto brings izakaya flavor to Palm Beach.

At Imoto, the menu features crispy starters, crudo (raw) small plates, wood-fired items, rolls and raw fish in various forms. While you decide, try a uni and oyster shooter with a quail egg, sake and ponzu – it’s the umami-rich sip we call “the sea in a shot glass.”

A trio of oyster shooters at Imoto.

A trio of oyster shooters at Imoto.

Imoto at Buccan: 350 S. County Rd., Palm Beach; 561-833-5522; Facebook.com/ImotoPalmBeach

TWITTER: @LizBalmaseda

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