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Oct 6, 2006 03:16 PM

Texas sushi etiquette question & recommendations

OK... so a question about Sushi edicate here in Texas... I am used to sitting at the sushi bar and ordering from the chef... we talk, he tells me what is fresh, we laugh, share sake. But here (Sushi Sam's, Kobeya, Cowtown Sushi) I find these little slips of paper all over the bar, the sushi chef never looks up and I am completely lost as to what I am supposed to do. Now deduction tells me that I am supposed to fill out that little slip of paper with what I want... But how do I know what I want unless I talk to the chef? And what if I want more? What if he wants to recommend something special??

I also understand that Piranha Sushi is supposed to be good?

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  1. I agree with your approach to sushi, and your experiences show that you're going to the wrong places. One of the reasons why Oishii is one of my favorite places is because, the first time we went there no places at the bar were open, and the sushi chef came over to our table when we asked our server what was freshest that night. Since then, we always sit at the bar and just tell the chef to serve us what's best. We always leave happy.

    2 Replies
    1. re: Dallas Alice

      Dallas Alice,
      Thanks for the recommendation. Being from California, I was not sure if this wierd practice was a culture thing, or just because we were trying local sushi places (Southlake). It is hard to find a good Sushi place when you move to a new place with no friends/family to rely on, since sushi is one of those things that can be really, really bad...

      1. re: Dallas Alice

        Dallas Alice - I like the name - from the song "Willin'", right?

      2. I second Oishii if you're looking for a very attentive chef. Thanh ("tahn") has the most amazing memory and will remember your name and what you like after 2 or 3 visits, if not sooner. He will also make customized dishes just for you based on your favorite fish and flavors.

        There are some issues with Oishii to keep in mind, however. He doesn't have much help at the sushi bar, and service can be VERY slow. Try going before or after the dinner rush. Avoid Tuesday nights (It's half price Sushi night, and it's just too busy). Monday/Sunday nights, and Saturday lunch are the best times to go. Also, he does not have a very large selection of fish. Everything is very fresh, but you won't find anything beyond the basics. Guidelive link:

        Another amazing place to go is Hanasho in Irving near 183 and MacArthur. The head sushi chef, Kenny, is extremely friendly and helpful. He doesn't quite have the personality of Thanh, and his creations aren't always as creative, but the variety and freshness of the sushi is superb. The clientele is about 85% Japanese, so they offer many unusual items that most mainstream sushi places don't have. Link:

        Piranha Sushi is good and fresh, but we had zero interactions with any of the sushi chefs at the bar (I think there were 5 of them, and they were so busy I don't think they ever even glanced our way!). My husband and I have much more fun with Thanh or Kenny.

        10 Replies
        1. re: Webra1

          Thanks for the recommendations... I have been sorting through the posts by restaurant name, since not much comes up when I search "sushi" here. Anyone have comments/reviews of Waka Sushi, Sushi Sake or Sakura Sushi?

          My favorite place in Cal. was a very small restaurant in a strip mall, so it doesn't really matter where the place is located. Good food hides everywhere!! We would always put ourselves in the chef’s hands (お任せおねがいします omakase onegaishimasu). So, I am used to eating a lot of different dishes. It was always so fun to watch how excited the chef would get about different dishes, as especially when we really enjoyed them. I asked about fried aji bones at a local place here in Southlake (I can’t remember the Japanese name for them) and I got the three headed look...

          Any suggestions for Omakase?

          1. re: soapgirl

            Sushi Sake is the best sushi I have found in the Dallas area, but as someone pointed out not too long ago, they use a longer grain rice than the traditional sushi rice. It still can't be beat, for freshness and flavor. The chefs will talk with you about what's best, and will make suggestions of things you should try. They will also do omakase, but they tend not to do the really flamboyant stuff -- a good thing, if you are on a budget.

            If I am not mistaken, Simply Victoria reported recently on a restaurant that served a whole mackerel, then fried up the bones afterwards. Victoria...can you elaborate?

            1. re: Kirk

              Yep Kirk. Yutaka down in Uptown served us a whole mackerals worth of sashimi, and then when we were finished, took the fish and deep fried it and served it back to us. Delicious!!

              I have to say, as far as new sushi places go, Yutaka is fantastic. Beautiful presentation and very imaginative sushi.

                1. re: simply_victoria

                  Mackerel sashimi = food of the gods

                  1. re: Kirk

                    You know what is funny, I really like the spanish mackerel - but don't like the other.. Weird!!

                    1. re: simply_victoria

                      Sushi of Plano also does this. I have it there at least once a week.

                    2. re: Kirk

                      Teppo does this as well. It's fabulous.

                      I love Teppo for omakase. It's always inventive and a wonderful progression of interesting dishes.

                  2. re: Webra1

                    I live next door to Waka sushi, and I've been thoroughly impressed by the quality of their sushi. I get the impression that the restaurant is struggling though - they have been mostly empty the last 2 times I came in, and they recently added free, bottomless house sake (for anyone who spends over $15 - which it's easy to do with 2 or 3 sushi rolls).

                  3. I'll second Piranha, but agree, there's no interaction with the sushi chefs. For that, try visiting Tony (I think he's called) at Genroku in Richardson. It's in this all Asian strip mall and while the guy's a bit of a trip, you can sit at the bar and tell him what you like and he'll just make stuff up to suit you!


                    1. Yutaka-san at Yutaka Sushi Bistro does exactly that, at least when things aren't busy. See previous postings for more rave reviews and details.

                      1 Reply
                      1. re: vktp

                        We went to Yutaka last night because of what I'd read about it here yesterday. It was good but I still prefer Teppo for a couple of reasons.

                        First, Yutaka was a little heavy handed on the wasabi incorporated in a few of our sushi selections which overwhelmed the taste of the fish.

                        Second, Yutaka's sake selection (like almost every sushi restaurant I've been to since moving to Dallas) left a LOT to be desired. There were no junmai ginjo let alone junmai daiginjo sakes on the list.

                        We left agreeing that it was good - just not our favorite.

                      2. Our favorite sushi place in North Dallas is Fuji Steakhouse on Preston just south of 635, in a strip mall right by India Palace. The owner used to be the sushi chef at Steel and mans the sushi bar. This classy yet friendly little place has some of the freshest sushi and friendliest, most attentive service you'll find anywhere. Highly recommended.