By Amy McCarthy
By Scott Reitz
By Scott Reitz
By Lauren Drewes Daniels
By Alice Laussade
By City of Ate
The sushi bar, packed in the back end of the nightclub, is simple and unassuming. Behind the bar, there's a black-and-white mural featuring New York Yankees greats--Lou Gehrig, Babe Ruth, Joe DiMaggio--swinging with DiMaggio's ex-wife Marilyn Monroe. Frank Sinatra is smirking off on the right flank.
The surface of the sushi bar is blond wood, heavily lacquered to a high gloss. But the ceiling tiles are heavily stained in that tea-brown hue that suggests neglected water leaks. Sometimes these blemishes can be endearing and evoke nostalgia for smoky Dallas beer hubs. But it's more serious in a sushi restaurant, where freshness and cleanliness can mean the difference between sensual pleasure and panicked convulsions.
But Manhattan's has more than just raw fish. It has a slate of bento boxes, bulging with seafood and teriyakis of virtually every marquee protein save tofu T-bones. Chicken teriyaki had compartments for juicy grilled chicken, savory egg omelette squares, a serviceable California roll and a veggie medley of broccoli, onion and mushrooms.
Tempura udon, with a single soggy tempura shrimp, slightly overcooked noodles, mushroom and a raw egg spreading a gooey pool across a piping-hot broth, had surprisingly rich, engaging flavors.
Appetizers were hit-and-miss. Soft-shell crab, slices of fried crab over slivers of slightly wilted lettuce, was rocked with an odd petrol taste. But conch salad was a span of brilliance. Pieces of firm conch were crowded with segments of asparagus stalk, daikon radish sprouts and Japanese beets in a sharp vinaigrette.
With a few tweaks, Sushi@Manhattan's could be a swell market to score raw fish--among other things. Just be wary of any blue elephants that might stampede across the dance floor.
2501 E. Lamar Blvd., Suite B, Arlington, 817-652-1435. Open for lunch 11:30 a.m.-2 p.m. Monday-Friday. Open for dinner 5:30 p.m.-10:30 p.m. Sunday-Thursday, 5:30 p.m.-2 a.m. Friday & Saturday. $$-$$$