By Amy McCarthy
By Scott Reitz
By Scott Reitz
By Lauren Drewes Daniels
By Alice Laussade
By City of Ate
Girding the tonkatsu is a sprawl of teriyaki cabbage slaw: a bedding fraught with danger as it can detonate in the gullet before the meal is completed. Tonkatsu is Japanese pork cutlet. It's cut into thin strips and gracefully laid over cabbage. The breaded and fried pork is extremely dry and chewy, making it addictive in the same way beef jerky is before the flossing fits take hold. Ponzu sauce is drizzled over the top.
From the bar, turn your gaze to the left and peer out the window. Sushi Sapporo is edgy perhaps, if that word still has meaning. Glass bricks, faux stone wainscoting and a bar installed in the center of the dining room with a pair of wooden X's serving as the back bar drive the atmosphere. The bartender must have been bored. He poured something into a dish with rippled edges and set it on fire. The sound system was blaring Annie Lennox, but there must have been a digital system seizure because Annie started spitting libretto like a Tommy gun--eh! eh! eh! eh! The bartender's attention swayed from the flaming dish.
Sushi Sapporo is cavernous. A second floor is dedicated to private parties and karaoke. Yet sushi seems best when served in cozy enveloping spaces.
Una Ju is a bowl of rice topped with broiled eel and barbecued eel sauce. Eel sushi is a compelling respite in a sushi meal because it is warm or even hot: a stark contrast to the fleshy chill sliding across the tongue as the meal progresses. Here the eel is cold and mushy.
Time for peanut calisthenics.
3211 Oak Lawn Ave., Suite A, 214-528-2700. Open for lunch 11 a.m.-2:30 p.m. Monday-Friday; noon-3 p.m. Saturday & Sunday. Open for dinner 5:30-10:30 p.m. Monday-Thursday; 5 p.m.-1 a.m. Friday & Saturday; 5:30-10 p.m. Sunday. $$-$$$