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Feb 18, 2009 08:07 AM

DFW: Masami vs Sushi Robata?

Contemplating dinner at either Masami in Richardson or Sushi Robata at Frankford and the Tollway. I've never been to either. I did live in Japan, so the more authentic the better. I'm also a big fan of Japanese small plates in addition to the usual sushi. Does anyone have an opinion on either of these places? Thanks!

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  1. If by small plates, you mean individual small dishes that comes off the grill, then you'd definitely like Sushi Robata. Though it's usually one or the other, I wouldn't order something off the grill at the same time as some sushi. They have plenty of authentic dishes and when you glance around, many patrons are Japanese.

    1. I haven't been to Robata. I've been very, very pleased with everything I've eaten at Masami, raw or cooked. It's going to be fairly authentic as far as I can tell although the chef will have a couple things that are nods to the American palate. When I've had omakase, he's mixed sushi and cooked dishes, although I've been there enough times that he knows I like to try different things.

      1. Both are going to be authentic as we get here in Dallas. I wouldn't expect Japan though. I would say for sushi Masami is better, for grilled items and the custard like dishes Robata. Both are hands above the rest of what we have with the exception of Tei Tei, Teppo, Yutaka and Tei An. But if you are staying close to home in North Dallas either place will be good just depends on what you are craving more; sushi or small plates.

        I have had great sucess at the omakase at Masami. Rio knows that I eat anything he gives me. I just call something out to him that sounds interesting to work with (i.e. shiso leaf) and he usually makes something that is awesome. I would recommend calling before you go and ask when they get their shipments in as both can sell out of some of the things you want (i.e. hamachi ribs, snapper head).

        **Hint look around for coupons for Masami ( can eat for cheaper!

        1. luniz/LH: What's the price range on omakase at Masami? I'd always seen it on and been curious, so I'll give it a shot.

          5 Replies
          1. re: air

            Just depends what you get, I've had it be almost $100 with sake one night. I'm sure you could ask him for a certain amount, like 4 or 5 different things, and he'd do that. Most of the times you're probably going to get a lot of what's on the specials board, you can keep a running total and just tell him when to stop. I think next time I go instead of full omakase I'll maybe have him help me pick a starter, then maybe 3 or 4 nigiri, then just ask if I'm missing anything I need to try. Otherwise I'd tell him about how many things I wanted and it would probably be $10-$15 a plate.

            1. re: air

              Comparing to Plano Sushi I would say + 35 to 45% overall. I normally get out of Plano Sushi for $30ish out of Masami for $45ish, sometimes a bit more depending on specials.

              1. re: air

                I don't know...most expensive has been $100 and my wife and I were stuffed. I am not sure if he keeps track sometimes so it is hard to say. I would say expect $75 for two.....maybe around $50 for one??? I would go with luniz suggestion of one special and then go from there. I will say the sake steamed snapper head is quite a bargain and very filling. Me personally I love the cheeks and the eyes the best.

                Just let him know your budget and he can work in fitting everything in. If you go on an off night say Sunday or Thursday he will be more talkative and open for jokes and the like. Lets just say if he knows you and you bring a few friends in he will let some things slide.

                It is my go to place. I can't afford Yutaka, hate to park down on Greenville for Teppo or Tei Tei (Henderson), and Tei An I would suspect is still busy from the craze. Masami is a place I like to go relax, spend 2-3 hours eating sushi and joke around with Rio.

                1. re: LewisvilleHounder

                  Tei An is not crazy busy. Popped in a Thursday evening last week and was seated promptly. Was there on a Tuesday evening a couple of weeks back and the place was half full.

                  1. re: adkim

                    Thanks adkim! I hate the crowds and like to enjoy my meal with an unhurried pace.

              2. If I have to choose between the two, Masami for sushi and ippin for Robata. Robata's sushi is bad. (As you'd know, no decent place in Japan would serve both sushi AND robatayaki--not that Sushi Robata is a real robata. It's like an izakaya.)

                I'm a Japan native and Seabose (in Carrollton) used to be the only sushi place in town I would eat at, but last time when I had their sushi (last summer), it wasn't as good so I haven't been back.

                Also, Sushiyama is an authentic izakaya.

                6 Replies
                1. re: kuidaore

                  Thanks for your input about izakayas, a bunch of my friends recently went to Japan and just kept raving about them. What exactly sets Sushiyama apart?

                  1. re: air

                    I'm not saying Sushiyama is good. I'm saying their food is authentic (and not bad, but I've been there only once). Tei An and Ino are also authentic, but I personally don't like Ino's food because of their Eastern Japan seasoning. I'm glad to see a "real" Japanese restaurant (like those you actually find in Japan) like Tei An in Dallas, but their food is nothing I would go back for.

                    BTW, Sushi Robata's deep fried squid tentacles were very crispy and good! Their chawanmushi was also very good. I'm planning to go back to try their other non-sushi dishes (ippin ryori).

                    Some of the CHs are in Japan right now for the first time and I can guarantee that after they come back, they won't go back to some of the restaurants here ;-)

                    1. re: kuidaore

                      I would love some good izakaya food, but it doesn't sound like any of those places are particular favorites of yours. Where would you go back to then, for sushi or otherwise?

                      I'm not a big chawanmushi fan, but I do sometimes have a craving for kabocha croquettes or nasu dengaku. I lived in Western Japan, but I definitely wouldn't be able to tell the difference -- I ate at Ino once and thought it was good, but would have liked more variety. I guess there's no chance of anything close to Sanuki udon in these parts?

                      1. re: rempah

                        I doubt you can have Sanuki udon in DFW... I'm from Osaka and very picky about my udon. I make my own :-) Ino's seasoning is VERY Kanto.
                        I would go back to Sushi Robata for ippin (need to explore more dishes there before I make a decision). Sushiyama is fine, too. I doubt either has kabocha croqueetes or nasu dengaku, though. Sushiyama has agedashi nasu.
                        Try Seabose for sushi. Here's the owner's blog if you read Japanese. It's not a restaurant, but a grocery store. You can get fish and sushi of Japanese-grocery store quality.
                        I basically don't go to a local Japanese restaurant. I wait until my next trip to Japan... (or Charlotte, NC or Vancouver. Charlotte has a great J restaurant.)

                        1. re: kuidaore

                          I've honestly been contemplating a trip to Vancouver, pretty much read my mind!

                          My goal at Sushi Robata is to make sure I try something new every time I go for happy hour. I tried a few more things at Sushiyama last saturday, but some of the dishes seemed more expensive. Beer's cheaper at Robata during happy hour too.

                          1. re: air

                            If you go to Vancouver, try Okada.

                            I think the chef is from Osaka because he makes Battera (or oshizushi--Seabose used to make it). Their "kisu" tempura (seasonal) was VERY GOOD. Almost everything was good. That was the best Japanese food I've had outside of Japan.

                            We're going back in June (you have to hurry because some hotels are already fully booked!) I can also guide you to cheap good Chinese food there.