Little Katana (sushi) Knox-Henderson area in Dallas
Last week, we had the pleasure of dining at Yutaka Sushi Bistro which I believe is the best sushi in Dallas.
However, this week, we were on a sushi "kick" and chose to dine at Little Katana. The primary reason why we chose Little Katana was because the restaurant was highly rated on guidelive.com that I commonly agree with.
The restaurant is located in the Knox-Henderson area next door to La Sur Table. We sat at the sushi bar. The sushi counter was a cool looking cross-sectional of wood in "carmelized" sugar...like the stuff you would see in dinosaur fossilization. They had a real bar that seats maybe 5 or 6 people.
Upon sitting down at the sushi counter, I glanced at the sushi fridge, the glass showcase in which the fish is stored. Some of the fish and/or ingredients were stored in small plastic tupperware which I have never seen before in a sushi place. This should have been the first clue to leave.
The dining area didn't look like the typical sushi dining room. It looked like something out of an American restaurant where you would sit down and order a hamburger. There is a plasma screen tv on the wall which I think they should remove. The lighting for the sushi bar was too bright for a sushi bar and the dining room was too dark. Sitting at any part of the sushi bar, you get a nice view of the back room and kitchen and watch the help wash dishes.
We sat down...looked over the menu. When I go to a new ethnic restaurant, especially sushi, I start off by ordering a few rolls to see the quality and freshness. We ordered the california roll (you can't go wrong with that), a shrimp tempura roll (another safe one), and a spider roll that basically has soft shell crab. To my disarrayment, they MICROWAVED the shrimp tempura. I didn't see if they microwaved the soft shell crab but the sushi chef was cutting them up at the same time. Not to be mean or anything...but I was losing my appetite having to look at the sushi chef. On top of his lack of aesthetics, he was slow and didn't look like he knew what he was doing.
The service is so-so. There are servers and then people who run around refilling water and such. They brought out a basket of those flat, crunchy things with sesame seeds on them...except for ours was severely burnt.
The sushi chef presented our plate of sushi first without the individual small plates to eat off of with the wasabi and ginger. We sat there for a few minutes waiting for the small plates.
The California roll looked and tasted like the sushi rolls at Costco. The basic ingredients were shredded crab and rice. I didn't see anything else. There was a huge pot of rice behind the sushi chefs. That rice must have been newly cooked because our rolls were ALMOST WARM.
Of course the microwaving caused the shrimp tempura roll to be soggy. But this was the most edible of the 3 rolls.
The spider/soft shell crab rolls were hideous. The soft shell crab was shriveled.
One of the other sushi chef asked how the sushi was...so I politely answered "The freshness is questionable." He didn't say anything else but turned to his chefmate and muttered something in Japanese.
We weren't going to continue dining there any longer...we couldn't even finish the 3 rolls that we ordered. As I paid the bill, I spoke to the manager with my concerns. He asked if he could take off the shrimp tempura but I refused since we ate half of the roll. He informed me that he would rectify the situation but I seriously doubt they will change their microwaving practice.
This was one of the most gosh awful sushi experiences I have had. I can not determine if it was a bad night at the restaurant or if this was typically how the restaurant operated. I will not return to this sushi establishment and would recommend others to go elsewhere.
Considering the glowing review of Little Katana on DMN, I had high expectations. The sushi was forgettable. The philly roll had an over-generous helping of cream cheese. The scallop nigiri was over-mayoed. The yellowtail roll was fishy. The appetizer sampler ($14), though, was pretty good. It came with tempura calamari (very good), Korean beef rib meat (well-flavored, though on the gristly side), water dumplngs (which were essentially fried wonton wrappers with an asian meatball inside-- good), and Seoul crepes (a fried crepe with shrimp I think-- it was ok). The food, along with a large Silver sake (served cold, ample to share among 3 people, almost like water), brought our tab to about $50+tip. No plans to go back anytime soon.
While I have never eaten at the "north" location. I have eaten at the Galleria location a couple of times. I would fully agree with your review. It's unfortunate that there is no other choice when meeting people who work at Galleria and want a fast Sushi...
that is weird...you start w/ rolls to see how fresh the sushi is? shouldn't you start w/ sashimi since they use the best cuts for sashimi? w/ rolls, the flavors of their sauces and all the other different ingredients muddle the taste of the fish. i always thought the best cuts go to sashimi dishes, second best cuts go to sushi, and the third best go to rolls. please correct me if i am wrong. and yes, yutaka is a very inmpressive restaurant, but i just dined at tei-tei this past thursday and that dining expereince rivals any other top sushi restaurant in n. texas.
Yes you are correct, but not really in the case of little Katana. They are really a "Sushi Roll bar" Sushi bars that specialize in sashimi are an entire different beast and in my opinion require more artistry. Most chefs that really do a great job on sashimi really look down on "rolls" and especially down on California rolls :=)