HOME > Chowhound > Texas >

Texas sushi etiquette question & recommendations

s
soapgirl Oct 6, 2006 03:16 PM

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?

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
Delete
  1. Dallas Alice RE: soapgirl Oct 6, 2006 03:24 PM

    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
      s
      soapgirl RE: Dallas Alice Oct 6, 2006 04:33 PM

      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
        r
        Reefmonkey RE: Dallas Alice Oct 29, 2008 06:28 AM

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

      2. Webra1 RE: soapgirl Oct 6, 2006 05:19 PM

        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: http://www.guidelive.com/portal/page?...

        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: http://www.hanasho.com/

        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
          s
          soapgirl RE: Webra1 Oct 6, 2006 09:04 PM

          Webra,
          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
            k
            Kirk RE: soapgirl Oct 7, 2006 09:03 PM

            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
              s
              simply_victoria RE: Kirk Oct 9, 2006 03:33 PM

              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
                s
                soapgirl RE: simply_victoria Oct 9, 2006 06:25 PM

                :0) Thanks!!

                1. re: simply_victoria
                  k
                  Kirk RE: simply_victoria Oct 9, 2006 08:24 PM

                  Mackerel sashimi = food of the gods

                  1. re: Kirk
                    s
                    soapgirl RE: Kirk Oct 11, 2006 09:49 PM

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

                  2. re: simply_victoria
                    m
                    mfindfw RE: simply_victoria Oct 30, 2008 10:16 AM

                    Sushi Sake will do the same.

                    1. re: simply_victoria
                      irodguy RE: simply_victoria Oct 30, 2008 11:32 AM

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

                    2. re: Kirk
                      d
                      dalaimama RE: Kirk Oct 31, 2008 12:46 PM

                      Teppo does this as well. It's fabulous.

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

                  3. re: Webra1
                    g
                    georgemo RE: Webra1 Aug 12, 2007 08:07 PM

                    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).

                  4. TexasToast RE: soapgirl Oct 6, 2006 09:11 PM

                    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!

                    TT

                    1. vktp RE: soapgirl Oct 7, 2006 01:21 AM

                      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
                        m
                        mahalan RE: vktp Oct 30, 2008 08:40 AM

                        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. l
                        laurie RE: soapgirl Oct 7, 2006 03:05 AM

                        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.

                        1. m
                          Mike C. Miller RE: soapgirl Oct 8, 2006 05:32 AM

                          I won't claim that it's the best sushi in Dallas. I don't travel far from my Dallas pied au terre so I can't comment on many other places. But you can sit at the bar and have a great deal of interaction with the chefs at Sushi on McKinney. I've had very good sushi in other cities and it doesn't quite stack up to the best that I've ever had, but it is quite good. Very much a neighborhood feel, and while they do have the little white slips, you can also just shoot the breeze with the guys behind the counter and let them fix for you.

                          1. m
                            memo_god RE: soapgirl Oct 28, 2008 10:38 PM

                            The better Sushi places have a Chef that will take the time to be a part of that customers eating experience. As far as Piranha's goes, I had the worst experience there! The attention and interaction by the Chef was non-existent, the orders to the tables were given preference even if they came in 30 minutes after you. The sushi itself was not really a real sushi place just an over glorified form of food art that really did not follow sushi protocol. When I discussed my problems of service with management and staff I was blown off. Otherwise it is a place to go for the first timer who thinks he is at a real sushi bar.
                            Want good sushi in Texas? Try Uchi in Austin, it is a little expensive and you have to get there when they open the doors for a seat at the bar, but well worth the experience and the excellent service. Sushi Zone in Arlington, Texas is a great place with very fresh sushi and very friendly service! Hanasho Japanese Resteraunt is another great place located in Irving, Texas, just north of 183 on N. Beltline Road. The service at the bar is the fantastic and they are more than happy to share what is the best, they also seem to have Toro on a regular basis. Sushi On Mckinney is a great place, but has lost some of its friendly appeal at the bar. They also do not have Toro on hand anymore. I recently moved about an hours drive south of DFW and have had to make my own sushi and seared tuna to help me with my craving for sushi. It kind of makes me want to open my own sushi bar to give the cowboys and rednecks a hard time around here. I'll le you know when I open and don't be fooled by the Sushi and live bait sign, it will just be a ploy to get the rednecks and cowboys inside. Than we will get them drunk on Saki and eating California rolls and crab rolls.

                            1 Reply
                            1. re: memo_god
                              a
                              AliceToo RE: memo_god Nov 3, 2008 08:46 AM

                              Memo_god - don't know where you are south of Dallas, but I too am south and would love a sushi spot....Let me know if you open one!!!

                            2. irodguy RE: soapgirl Oct 29, 2008 10:53 AM

                              There are plenty of good Sushi bars in DFW that will interact with you. Personally if they have the papers to fill out, I just tell the waitress that I will order from the chef. If they don't like that I just leave.

                              Show Hidden Posts