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Dallas' 50 Most Interesting Restaurants, No. 19: Yutaka and Sharaku

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.

Technically, Yutaka and Sharaku are two separate restaurants, but it's not that simple in practical terms. They may share the same owner, but the menus couldn't be more different. They share the same strip mall address, but there's an unrelated shop sandwiched between them. Together they might remind you of that ill-fated fast-food sandwich whose packaging kept the hot side hot and the cool side cool. Yutaka serves sushi from an ice-filled neta case, and Sharaku grills meats over smoldering coals.

A meal at either restaurant will convince you they are one in the same, though. Sit at the bar at Sharaku and your waiter will happily grab you some tuna maki when you've had enough meat. The sake flows both ways, and every craving is covered no matter where you sit.

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But the best way to experience the pair is to start at the izakaya, after you've told the hostess at Yutaka you'd like a seat at the sushi bar. Order a good bottle of sake and a few of the meat skewers that will warm up your hunger. The wait for a good seat at Yutaka can be long, but with access to plums wrapped in pork, charred perfectly over charcoal, and an endless selection of sake, the burden's worthwhile.

When you do make it to Yutaka you'll be buzzed on rice wine. Switch to crisp beer and work your way through whatever the chef tells you is freshest that evening. Ordering the best sushi requires nothing more than a relationship with the man holding a very sharp knife behind that counter. And despite his seemingly stern demeanor, he wants you to go home happy.

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

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