I’ve been meaning to sneak into Imoto, (350 S. County Rd., Palm Beach, 561/833-5522) uber-chef Clay Conley’s jewel box ode to his time spent in Japan, ever since it opened several months back.

Well, I finally did, and my butt is black and blue from kicking it for not have done it a helluva lot sooner.

For one, it’s a very cool-looking little spot. It’s a long, narrow space with a small bar up front, some banquettes and tables in the middle, a sushi bar all the way back, room for about 40 in all. The vibe is low-key and relaxed.

The food, by the way, is great. A full review is coming in the November issue of the magazine, but just to mention a couple standouts. . .

Scallop sushi was merely exquisite, the day boat-caught critters flown in from Massachusettes with an unbelievably plush texture and delicate, sea-sweet flavor that puts every other scallop dish you’ve ever had to shame.

Foie gras-tuna sliders are the surf ‘n’ turf of the gods, the foie a little slab of molten luxury, the tuna seared-rare and not far behind. The come on a buttery brioche bun with just the right amount of a not-too-sweet mango salsa. Only a few bites but every bite is perfect.

Desserts are more West than East, like the sublime mille-crepe cake, 20 delicate crepes separated by layers of pastry cream with a Cointreau-spiked mango sauce. It’s impossible to stop eating.

Imoto is a world-class, big-city restaurant folks. And it’s in our own back yard. Don’t kick your own butt black and blue for not checking it out.