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Jul 11, 2012 02:52 PM

Finest japanese-style sushi in DFW- not interested in americanized rolls. Suggestions?

Hi everyone. I'm relocating to Dallas from NYC in a couple of months.

My neighborhood has GREAT, authentic Japanese sushi and I'm hoping to find the same in DFW.

First, I want to describe what I'm looking for in terms of recommendations. I'm looking for some very specific kinds of sushi restaurants.

I'm looking for places that serve:

1) Japanese style sushi, not fruity Americanized rolls with sauces that do nothing but cover up the fish,
2) Best fresh fish that can stand alone
3) Offers unusual or special seasonal fish when available (ex: fugu, teeny japanese fresh water crabs, fresh Californian uni, etc)
4) Ankimo

So what would be the best place in DFW for this where money is no object (for special occasions)? I'm also looking for a more casual place near Grapevine.

I've already dined at Sushi Zushi in Southlake while on a relocation trip. I had very low expectations but was VERY pleasantly surprised (they did have some traditional offerings and I had their Chirashi). I suspect while Sushi Zushi was good, there has got to be better out there.

I'm having a very tough time finding what I'm looking for on Yelp because most of the customers only comment on the americanized rolls and few reviewers have experience with traditional Japanese sushi and what the quality should be.

Thanks in advance for the recommendations.

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  1. Ahh, you'll want to eat at Sushi Sake in Richardson. Soda San and his wife Noriko have been serving some of the finest and freshest Japanese food in Dallas for many years. It's where you'll see all the Japanese businessmen eating when they're visiting Dallas. They have it all. Giant clam, Ankimo, Uni, Spanish Mackerel, and much more.

    Also, Mr. Max in Irving. It's like being in a little mom & pop restaurant on a side street in Tokyo serving pristine little dishes.

    I also like, Teppo and, Tei An for more inventive, up-market Japanese food designed for the more adventuresome diner. (Mr. Max

    3 Replies
    1. re: twinwillow

      Thank You!

      Holy izakaya, Batman, I think Mr. Max is what I'm looking for as far as casual goes. I'm looking at the yelp photos and the pictures of grilled mackerel, smelts and sardines are driving me crazy. If I could afford it I'd be a full time pescatarian- ok maybe not, because I love pork-belly too much which I'm also seeing in the yelp food porn for Mr. Max.

      If Sushi Sake has the rare, seasonal fish I will absolutely give it a try. Are you a regular there? Just curious since you know the owner's names.

      1. re: alkonost

        I've known Soda and Noriko for over 35 years!
        He is, the best! You can always call and ask what he has.
        He used to get fresh (farmed) abalone, too. But, he says it's too expensive now for most of his customers.
        I promise you won't be disappointed!

        1. re: twinwillow

          I've had fresh baby abalone still alive in the shell- one of the best things I've eaten- well worth the splurge too! But not something I see at sushi bars very often.

          Sushi Sake will be one of the first places my spouse and I try when we move to Grapevine. I'm really excited to try all these great places. I will sorely miss my regular sushi joint in my neighborhood, but I'm so glad that I'll be able to have great sushi in DFW as well.

    2. I'll second twinwillow's recommendations and add Yutaka ( and Tei Tei ( for upscale options.

      2 Replies
        1. re: hypemnd

          Awesome! Thanks so much! That makes a total of 6 great places to try when we move to DFW! Woo hoo!!!!

        2. Just thought I'd let you know, all this anticipation of delightful sushi gave me a wicked craving. So I had to go to my fave neighborhood sushi bar to tame myself. :)

          Now that I have a belly full of toro & kampachi I was wondering which particular dishes or fish varieties from the restaurants you've suggested are your favorites?

          1. Teppo has really good ankimo. Tomi (their sushi chef) gets interesting fish pretty frequently; changes all the time. Of course, get yakitori there as well.

            A drive to Keiichi up in Denton would be worth it for you too.

            10 Replies
            1. re: air

              I was in Denton a couple of years ago and I remember someone else recommending Keiichi- we were going to try it but we were running late and didn't have time to dine there. But it sticks in my memory somehow.

              I went to Teppo's website but found it under construction. I was hoping to see what they had on their yakitori menu, would you know if they happen to have beef tongue and chicken skin skewers?

              I really love ankimo, well, I love a lot of things but if I were on death row that would probably be on my last meal request :) My current neighborhood place doesn't serve Ankimo on a regular basis, it's been a few months since I've enjoyed it and it makes me sad!

              1. re: alkonost

                Their website's a little out of date, yeah. They do have both of those items. Try their facebook page as they do a better job keeping up with it.

                1. re: alkonost

                  They have beef tongue, but I don't remember chicken skin. The chicken liver yakitori is great.

                  If you like tongue, be sure to try the braised tongue at Tei-An, which is TDF.

                  1. re: foiegras

                    Do any places offer chicken tail yakitori?

                    1. re: demigodh

                      You might try Sharaku Sake Lounge. They also have chicken skin and gizzards.

                      1. re: demigodh

                        No harm in asking them for it the next time you come to Teppo.

                        1. re: air

                          And no harm in letting us know when you're going so we can watch.

                          1. re: foiegras

                            Haha, oddly enough I have asked at Teppo. No dice. I've only seen it once in NY but always ask if yakitori is on the menu.

                            1. re: demigodh

                              I've never tried chicken gizzards. How do they taste? Do they have a livery offal flavor or are they a tasty treat that gets overlooked... Like the oyster or the "pope's nose" (the chicken tail)?

                              1. re: alkonost

                                They're not soft like the liver. They're more tough and gristly with a slight, but not strong offal flavor.

                                Although, when I'm stewing or braising a large chicken, I'll throw them in the pan along with the liver, heart and neck, they'll be a lot more palatable after cooking for an hour or more depending on the size of the chicken. I wouldn't use them for frying, however.

                                Side note: I usually saute the chicken livers with a bit of shallot and garlic before cooking the chicken.
                                The chef's, amuse bouche!

                2. I have had good experiences at Sushiism in Carrollton. One of the few places that offered shirako when Dallas got any. They occasionally get Yellowtail belly (Buri Toro) and frequently have specials. Definitely ask for Masa! Danny (Vietnamese) is his apprentice and hammers out all the Americanized rolls but still nice to joke around with. Most of the dishes and sushi selection have been in line with the places mentioned above.



                  4 Replies
                  1. re: LewisvilleHounder

                    Many thanks LH! I haven't tried Shirako yet, although I have been on the active hunt for it. There's an izakaya in a neighboring area from mine that has it when in season, but reservations were so tight I could never get a seat. It also seems I was never at the right restaurant at the right time- they were all sold out or the season had just ended. I'll certainly be relocated to Dallas by wintertime, so I can't wait check out Sushiism especially during shirako season. I love buri toro as well, so it looks like it will be a win/win situation :)

                    1. re: LewisvilleHounder

                      I went online to check on Sushiism's hours and discovered that it has closed :( Doh! Anyone know why the restaurant closed down?

                      1. re: alkonost

                        If I had to guess, I'd say their efforts were too sophisticated for the neighborhood.

                        1. re: alkonost

                          Yep it was just not a good location. it was really to bad that they closed.