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Alison McLean

Nori Handroll Bar

Alison McLean
Suddenly, temaki restaurants are all over Dallas. Handrolls, to use the English word, are small cylindrical rolls of dried seaweed paper wrapped around a quick mix of sushi rice and fish, cucumbers or anything else. They’re a fast-casual version of sushi, basically, and handrolls are meant to be eaten almost as soon as the chef finishes making them. (In other words, don’t get all precious with your Instagramming.) The most careful, considered handroll spot in town is Nori, where chef Jimmy Park builds tasting menus of four or five rolls with ultra-high-quality cuts of tuna belly, freshwater eel and more. Fresh, not prepackaged, wasabi is available. There’s also a kitchen in the back that can produce excellent cooked dishes like takoyaki, the fried dough balls filled with chunks of octopus.

Top pick: Nori’s takeout options are some of the tidiest and most satisfying in Deep Ellum; even though the handrolls are meant for rapid eating, the rest of the menu still sings once you’ve gotten home.

The downside: We keep hearing that regulars and friends of the chefs get access to secret menu items the rest of us peons don’t know about. We can’t be sure because we’re not cool enough to make the inner circle. If you dine in person, be charming.

Fun fact: Chef Jimmy Park is a Nobu veteran who moved into handrolls after a brief stint in the poke business.

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