Zen Sushi

Zen Sushi's meditations are focused on the artifacts of the plate, nearly to the exclusion of all else. The surroundings are comfortable yet Spartan and reek of soul, much like the austerity of sushi's exacting craft and discipline. At the end of the sushi bar is a pulpit to such craft, a space where chef Michelle Carpenter turns this discipline and exactitude into performance art with her Omakase dinners. Omakase means to entrust, and traditionally the omakase onegaishimasu is an experience that grants chefs the authority to indulge whims. Such whims may include Southwestern strokes-cilantro, lime, jalapeño-or a specific "market-fresh catch" of the day with which she molds every square inch into an exalted scintilla. Her sushi is impeccable: cool, smooth and silky, like eating finely woven spring water over rice. Cool, racy strips of Spanish mackerel smoothly sliced from a whole silvery fish. Knolls of bright, fluffy tobiko. Tongues of rich uni over barren billets of rice. Zen Sushi is a raw fish respite blazing trails in Oak Cliff's Bishop Arts District, that small neighborhood enclave that is slowly hoisting itself onto the pedestal of urbanity. Let the raw battle rage.

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