50 Most Interesting Restaurants

Dallas' 50 Most Interesting Restaurants, No. 11: Sushi Sake

Leading up to our annual Best of Dallas® issue, we're counting down the 50 most interesting restaurants in Dallas. These spots bring something unique or compelling to the city's dining scene, feeding both your appetite and soul. Find more interesting places on our all-new Best Of app for iTunes or Android.

If a single Maneki-neko is said to bring spend-thrift customers to a restaurant, then more than 20 of the "lucky cats" should bring a mob with money to burn. The figurines are pulling their weight at Sushi Sake, where a seat at a table can often be hard to score and the ticket machine rattles out back-to-back orders most of night.

See also: This Week's Review: Enticed by Sushi Sake

At 5:29 on a Saturday, seconds before the restaurant is scheduled to open, the lobby of this Richardson sushi restaurant is packed with customers who don't want to deal with the wait that builds as the night goes on. Sushi Sake has some devoted fans, and the attention is warranted.

Maintaining a restaurant for 17 years is an accomplishment, and soon after you sit down you'll understand the appeal. The service here is solid, and the staff is as happy to prepare sushi-virgin-friendly California rolls as they are more interesting cuts like giant clam.

If you offer giant clam (or uni, or sea snail, or sweet shrimp) to a novice right out of the gate, you'll likely be met with a scowling face, but anyone can learn to appreciate the textures and flavors or raw seafood. After a few basic rolls, the curious will start looking at the chalkboard menu for more interesting items and what is initially frighting, turns out delicious more often or not.

You don't have to eat an ocean's worth of slimy things, but you can. Sushi Sake is just as good at expanding your palate as they are serving up something satisfying and familiar. Regardless of your tastes and the preferences of your company, you're likely to have a very good time here. And if you're not, just keep drinking sake until you are.

No. 50: Joyce and Gigi's No. 49: East Hampton Sandwich Co. No. 48: 20 Feet Seafood Joint No. 47: Taj Chaat House No. 46: Mot Hai Ba No. 45: La Nueva Fresh and Hot No. 44: Pera Turkish Kitchen No. 43: Tom's Burgers and Grill No. 42: Mughlai No. 41: Russian Banya No. 40: Off-Site Kitchen No. 39: Bachman Lake Taqueria No. 38: Carbone's No. 37: Babe's No. 36: Barbacoa Estilo Hidalgo No. 35: Zaguan No. 34: Royal Sichuan No. 33: Spoon No. 32: Bambu No. 31: Pecan Lodge No. 30: FT33 No. 29: Keller's Drive-In No. 28: La Pasadita No. 27: Ten Bells Tavern No. 26: El Ranchito No. 25: Cafe Urbano No. 24: Nova No. 23: Jeng Chi No. 22: Omi No. 21: Tei-An No. 20: Jonathon's Oak Cliff No. 19: Yutaka and Sharaku No. 18: Local No. 17: Ibex No. 16: Pakpao No. 15: Chennai Cafe No. 14: Smoke No. 13: Nonna No. 12: Kuby's

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Scott Reitz
Contact: Scott Reitz