In search of a restaurant to satisfy all her sushi cravings, Co-Editor-in-Chief Grace Worsham visited five sushi restaurants, here is what she found:
I had been given many recommendations to eat at Oishii, and I was excited as I walked into one of their locations: 5627 SMU Blvd. The restaurant is brightly lit inside, creating a lively atmosphere and a space to watch the chefs prepare the sushi. The menu features a variety of unique rolls that piqued my interest, including a few rolls that contained Latin-American related ingredients: pico de gallo, serrano peppers and cilantro. I decided to order the On the Border specialty roll for $16 and the Vietnamese egg roll appetizer for $7.50. The egg rolls, filled with cellophane noodles instead of the common Chinese cabbage filling, allowed the mushrooms and shrimp to marinate into the salted sauce without creating a heavy appetizer. The crispy texture of the flour skin paired well with the tender mixture inside. The On the Border maki roll included pico de gallo, which is a rather rare addition to common rolls, along with shrimp tempura and salmon. The prominent flavor of shrimp was met with hints of acidity from the tomato and sharp tones of onion. The crisp tempura added complexity to the overall softness of the rice and avocado. The service was efficient, and the atmosphere allowed for an aesthetically pleasing environment to eat in. I highly recommend this restaurant to any sushi lover. I will definitely be going back soon for the great, affordable sushi and lovely atmosphere.
Rating: 5 stars
Blue Sushi Sake Grill is a sushi restaurant that also doubles as a lounge at its two locations. I ate at the 3320 McKinney Ave. location. The atmosphere is friendly and vibrant with blue skylights and ceiling designs. The menu at Blue separates maki rolls into classic, specialty and veggie rolls, allowing for a more diverse selection. I decided to go with the Brussels sprouts as an appetizer for $8 and one of the restaurant’s recommended specialty rolls, the Thriller Roll for $11. The Brussels sprouts lacked salt and crunch, leading to an underwhelming flavor. They almost seemed undercooked—hard to chew in the center—but my attitude shifted as the Thriller roll arrived. This roll, consisting of shrimp tempura, spicy crab mix, togarashi, ponzu and creamy Thriller sauce, was lined up in pairs of two with one roll at each end instead of the traditional single line presentation. This presentation caused the roll to appear like a fish with a fin on top—a thinly twisted lemon slice. The crab mix on top of the Thriller roll was grilled, adding an unexpected crunch and rather smoky flavor. The shrimp tempura inside created a dynamic sweetness that paired well with both the hint of spices and the soft acidic undertones. The shrimp could have been more fresh, but overall it was the combination of spice and sweetness that created a well wounded roll with a desired smoky finish. The service was adequate and the waitstaff sincere. I would recommend Blue for the uniqueness of their maki rolls and the vibrant atmosphere.
Rating: 4 stars
I had rather low expectations for Sushi Kyoto after a scroll through a cluster of past Yelp reviews, but I took it upon myself to walk in indifferent to my findings. The restaurant, located at 6429 Hillcrest Ave., encompasses a family friendly, rather casual atmosphere with a chalkboard pinned to the wall that details the restaurant’s specials and a TV featuring the latest sports. The menu contains a variety of common entrees and unique appetizers from multiple Japanese cuisines. For my appetizer, I ordered karaage, Japanese fried chicken, for $8.95 and for my entree, the $16.95 Dallas Star Roll, a specialty roll including tuna and crab meat wrapped in soy paper and topped with salmon. I was intrigued to try both of these because I had never tried them before, and karaage was not included on any other menu of the restaurants I reviewed besides Little Katana. I was surprised by the paper-like thickness of the karaage, which caused the chicken to be quite dry and the fried outside to overwhelm the dish. I continued to go back for more though, as the small, jerky-like meat created a desire for more satisfaction with the coming of the next piece. The maki roll had a sauce on top of it that was not mentioned on the menu, which added some undesired spice, but the overall flavor mimicked a California roll and contained fresh crab, salmon and tuna. The tuna flavor was masked with the more pungent taste of crab and sauce smothered on top. The roll contained some crunch with the cucumber inside, but needed more textures to create a more satisfying swallow. The waitstaff were friendly, and both plates came out quickly. The food was enjoyable, and the atmosphere created a comfortable environment that I would recommend for a more casual yet authentic sushi experience.
Rating: 3 stars
Little Katana hosts a casual dining experience while combining Asian-Fusion and steakhouse cuisines. I decided to dine at the Uptown restaurant at 4524 Cole Ave., but there are two other locations as well. The restaurant allows for casual dress attire with a more relaxed environment. Two different menus are given when seated: the normal dinner menu and a paper sushi menu in which you pencil in your order. The rolls are not described on the sheet so I had to look them up online to avoid pestering the waiter about the contents of at least 10 rolls. I decided upon one of their fresh maki rolls, the Snow Mountain Roll, for $20, and Kalbi, Korean style beef short ribs, for $17. When the ribs arrived, there was little meat around the bone, and the accessible meat was mostly fat. I tried my best to get salvageable bites of the ribs, but I was left unsatisfied. The meat itself was marinated in a thick sauce that did not penetrate through, limiting the tenderness and lacking the desired fall-off-the-bone texture. The Snow Mountain Roll, a yellowtail roll topped with tuna, crabmeat, drizzled spicy mayo and eel sauce, seemed larger than a typical roll with at least an inch or two of thick topping. The roll was hard to eat as the topping slid off and stuck to the other piece of sushi. The yellowtail seemed stale, almost as if it had been left out for a few days. The mayo and eel sauce elevated the flavor, or rather masked the dry fish, but it just didn’t satisfy me, and I was left with a large lump of crab meat that had slipped off the pieces of the roll. I believe Little Katana is overpriced for the quality of the food, subpar service and casual atmosphere. It would not be my first choice for any sushi cravings.
Rating: 2 stars
Sushi Axiom is a unique, but comfortable sushi experience that is currently accessible in seven different locations, while each offers unique differences (North Richland Hills location has Hibachi, etc). When I arrived at the Dallas location, 3211 Oak Lawn Ave., I was immediately drawn to the white and red lit lanterns that decorate the ceiling. The menu has a variety of options, with a hot and cold appetizer section, vegetarian, classic and signature rolls, as well as omakase (traditional Japanese dining style in which the chef provides a meal suited to your preferences). I decided on Gyoza, pan fried pork dumplings with a ponzu salsa, for $6.95 and one of their signature rolls, the Pacific, for $12.95. The service was efficient with both my meals arriving quite quickly, but the presentation lacked uniqueness with the gyoza and sushi just sitting awkwardly in the center of the plate. The gyoza contained fresh pork with a fried bottom, but there were only five pieces instead of the six pieces the menu specified. The ponzo salsa added little to the dish and appeared to be more of a messy inconvenience than an elevation to the gyoza itself. When the maki roll arrived, it appeared fresh and vibrant but it was oddly cut into 11 pieces instead of the traditional even cut of six or eight. The roll, consisting of crab, cucumber, pepper-seared tuna, avocado, ponzo and scallions, tasted similar to a classic California roll. I was disappointed with this, as I wished the delicacy and soft taste of the pepper-seared tuna could be more prominent instead of the crab and cucumber. The most interesting elements of the dish—fresh scallions, thin tuna, vibrant ponzu—were lost. Although both meals contained fresh meat and fish, the meal altogether lacked luster and there seemed to be some logistical issues with the menu and the consistency of the dishes. Sushi Axiom is affordable for the sushi that is prepared and the atmosphere is friendly, but it would not be one of my recommendations.
Rating: 2 stars