After seeing great success with its Vietnamese cuisine on King Street in downtown Charleston, the owners of CO decided to open up a sushi-centered eatery at The Market Common. Located right beside the movie theater, CO is a nice spot for before or after-movie bites and drinks.
The specialty here is fresh raw fish, but CO (Vietnamese for “feast”) occasionally deviates from the ordinary offerings by inserting proteins like duck and pork belly into the mix. The sushi items are divided into four categories – pressed sushi (rich, layered squares), nigiri or sashimi, maki or temaki, and makimono (specialty rolls). Alongside standards like the California, Philadelphia, and Rainbow rolls, makimono standouts include the Tataki roll, a sensory explosion of seared white tuna, roasted beef, togorashi (Japanese spices), yamagobo (marinated ginger root), avocado, wasabi aioli, black tobbiko (flying fish roe), and Sriracha; and the pressed Salmon and Avocado roll with lemon aioli, a creamy, filling, geometrically-pleasing offering.
In addition to sushi, CO offers a handful of Vietnamese and Thai noodle dishes, dumplings, and fried rice. The pho is served traditional-style in a savory house-made beef broth with your choice of rare beef or shredded chicken, while their Vietnamese ramen includes pork belly and shredded pork, egg noodles, bok choy, and poached egg in a pork broth. Highlights of the dumpling menu are the pork and ginger gyoza, and the Sambal beef and kimchi in a spicy chili broth.
The look here is minimalist chic and options for seating include the main bar, sushi bar, high-top tables, community-style booth, and a seasonal patio on the opposite side of the bar. The music is a mix of contemporary lounge-style beats, creating a cosmopolitan-ish vibe in an otherwise suburban area. Servers and bartenders work in all black, complimenting the sophisticated appearance of the place.