The Charlottesville 29

If there were just 29 restaurants in Charlottesville, what would be the ideal 29?

Tag: Kokoro

Kokoro Becomes Mican But Nothing Else Changes


New year, new name. Kokoro is now known as Mican. But, don’t worry. Nothing else is changing about the beloved Japanese restaurant on the downtown mall.

The change results from a trademark challenge by a restaurant in Colorado, also named Kokoro.  Several months ago, Kokoro’s owner Yoshihiro Tauchi received a letter from attorneys for the Colorado restaurant demanding that Tauchi change the name of his restaurant or face legal action.  After consulting with his own attorneys, Tauchi decided not to fight the challenge.

Mican means orange in Japanese, and the name is an homage to Tauchi’s hometown, Matsuyama, Ehime, which is known for its oranges. In fact, the mascot of Matsuyama is now the mascot for Mican.

While Tauchi and his staff love the new name, it was not easy parting with the old one.  Kokoro, which means heart, is a term with special meaning in Japanese culture and personally to Tauchi’s family. In addition, Tauchi is concerned about the public perception of a name change.  Customers may presume that the restaurant is under new ownership or that the change somehow signals that the restaurant is struggling.  Nothing could be further from the truth.  Business is better than ever.

But, a drop in business after the name change could validate Tauchi’s concerns. To avoid this, let’s all go eat as much sushi as possible at Mican.  It sure would be a delicious way to help out.  And, after an indulgent holiday season,  it would be a healthy one too. Long live Mican.



Five Finds on Friday: David Morgan


On Fridays, we feature five finds from local chefs and personalities.  Today’s picks come from David Morgan, chef of the new restaurant set to open soon in the former site of West Main Restaurant.  A local tavern with a speakeasy in the basement, the yet-to-be-named restaurant will feature “lots of charcuterie, scratch made bar snacks, and old school specials,” said Morgan, a Culinary Institute of America graduate who has been sous chef to Tucker Yoder at Clifton Inn and Ian Boden at Staunton Grocery.  More details to come. Morgans’s picks:

1) Dinner at Eljogaha. “My mentor and friend, Tucker’s simple but whimsical approach to local sustainable cooking is unrivaled in town. Always delicious.”

2) Dry-Fried Mushrooms at Peter Chang’s.  “Every crispy, numbing bite of mushrooms is bliss.”

3) Spicy Fried Calamari at Dr. Ho’s Humble Pie.  “With roasted jalapeno, peanuts and cilantro and paired with a local draft, it is always worth the drive for me. And our kids love their pizza!”

4) Spicy Miso Ramen at Kokoro.  “This place is a hidden gem. The spicy miso ramen warms my soul, and if anyone is getting amazing fish in Charlottesville, it’s Tauchi.”

5)  Turkey Trot at Beer Run.  “Always the go-to spot for my family. Everyone gets their own Turkey Trot because they’re too good to share. And, there’s always a great selection of beautifully bitter IPAs.”



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