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Kicho's has been serving sushi for the past 20 years in downtown Stuttgart. The restaurant offers a complete Japanese menu and is open seven days a week.

Kicho's has been serving sushi for the past 20 years in downtown Stuttgart. The restaurant offers a complete Japanese menu and is open seven days a week. (John Vandiver / S&S)

It’s been said that pizza is a little like sex: Even when it’s bad, it’s still pretty good.

I don’t think the same has ever been said about fish. For that reason, I’ve always shunned sushi restaurants and pretty much all seafood here in Stuttgart.

The idea of eating anything plucked from the ocean, let alone the raw stuff, has always made me a little uncomfortable in the land of the Swabians, where they’re better known for Spaetzle.

Maybe it’s just my East Coast bias shining through — though I suppose some might debate the notion of the Jersey Shore being a hub of seafood freshness — but Stuttgart and sushi just don’t go together.

Nevertheless, during a recent stroll downtown, I decided the time had come to put my prejudices aside. Throwing caution to the wind, I faced my fear and sat down at a little sushi spot called Kicho.

Expecting the worst, I perused the rather elaborate menu.

I was in for a pleasant surprise. For starters, the fish wasn’t fishy. Somehow, fresh-tasting tuna made its way into the southern parts of schnitzel-eating land.

The price also wasn’t half bad, either, though not exactly cheap.

I ordered a platter of assorted sushi — tuna, salmon, some sort of sea clam, squid and some other stuff I didn’t recognize. The platter also came with a cup of miso soup. Total: 14 euros.

But if sushi isn’t your thing, there’s plenty else to choose from at Kicho’s. The restaurant, in business since 1989, offers a complete Japanese menu.

From classics such as tempura and udon noodle dishes, to numerous varieties of cooked and grilled fish and hot pot specialties, there’s something for vegetarians, fish lovers and meat eaters alike.

Some of the offerings can get pricey, though. Take the Shabu-Shabu — a dish of thinly sliced beef — for instance. Be prepared to pay 26 euros per person for that one.

You can also pick and choose from the sushi menu for a custom-made plate. But diners looking to get the biggest bang for the buck should go with the daily sushi platter.

While it probably won’t blow your mind, the sushi was far from bad. In fact, it was really quite good. And you’ll even walk out of Kicho’s feeling full.

Location: Jakobstr. 19, 70182 Stuttgart

Hours: noon to 2 p.m. and 6 -11 p.m. Monday through Saturday, 6-11 p.m. Sundays and holidays.

English menu: Yes, and staff speaks some English

Prices: Somewhat pricey

Dress: Casual

Clientele: German

Information:www.kicho.de (there is an English version); telephone 0711-247-687

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John covers U.S. military activities across Europe and Africa. Based in Stuttgart, Germany, he previously worked for newspapers in New Jersey, North Carolina and Maryland. He is a graduate of the University of Delaware.

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