The Charlottesville 29

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

Tag: Mican


Mican112 W. Main St. #6 . Charlottesville, VA . (434) 977-0167

Why Mican?

If there were just 29 restaurants in Charlottesville, at least one would need to serve sushi.  But which kind of sushi restaurant?  An affordable and reliable weekday joint like Kabuto? Or, a high-end, sophisticated restaurant for date night like TEN?

Mican makes the choice easier by offering the best of both worlds.  In the back of York Place on the downtown mall, it is like a downscale version of TEN.  This is no accident.  Chef-owner Yoshihiro Tauchi spent seven years as a sushi chef at TEN before opening his own restaurant in late 2013, then called Kokoro.  In 2015, a threatened trademark challenge forced a name change to Mican, but nothing else changed about the stellar restaurant that is affordable enough to be a regular takeout joint while also offering sophisticated Japanese dining worthy of a date night.

What to Order

Our favorite way to order is to allow Tauchi to order for us. Ask for an omakase meal, and the kitchen will send out a parade of tastes including both sushi and other dishes. For specific suggestions, below are our picks, Tauchi’s picks, and appearances in Five Finds on Friday, where a local chef or personality has named an item from Mican as one of the best in town.

Our Picks

  • Omakase Meal (not “omakase” from the sushi menu)
  • Sushi: Madai, Toro Tuna, Toro Salmon
  • Zucchini Blossom Tempura (seasonal)
  • Shiokara (not for the faint of palate)
  • Specials

Chef/Owner’s Picks

  • Spicy Miso Ramen
  • Tuna Tataki
  • Takoyaki
  • Sushi: Uni, Blue Fin Tuna, Toro Tuna

Five Finds on Friday Picks




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.



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