I've destroyed a lot of sashimi in the last year, and I've come to believe that Dallas is an exceptional city for sushi eaters. While I wish there were a bit more innovation and culinary artistry -- I've not had anything here in Dallas that tops the meal I had at Uchi last summer -- the quality of the fish I've encountered is often phenomenal, and the prices are reasonable, compared to larger, more metropolitan cities.
Here are my five favorites.
Sushi Sake (pictured above) I fell in love with Sushi Sake a few weeks ago; it was the omakase that did me in. This large sushi restaurant in Richardson doesn't typically offer chef-guided dining, but when I asked, one of the sushi chefs said he'd take care of me. The dance started with a plate of sashimi that was actually a bit of a bore, but then things picked up nicely.
The subsequent bites came out in pairs. One slice of scallop sashimi would get a cold treatment, the next would be lightly charred by a blow torch. The procession continued through bonito, toro, snapper and other cuts. The customers sitting beside me took notice of my endless procession of curiosities. Soon they joined in too.
I ate until I felt ready to split and waved the chef off. My bill was $75, a steal given the quality, presentation and amount of sushi I shoveled into my face area.
Yutaka I love Yutaka for its one-two combo punch with Sharaku, the izakaya located two doors down in this small Uptown strip mall. You can make reservations if you want, but I prefer to walk up, put my name in and wait next door. That way I have plenty of time to sip Sapporo and nibble on tiny grilled things skewered on sticks.
When your table is ready, the folks at Yutaka will come get you. Do your best to convince them you're not a spicy tuna roll novice and find out what's fresh. I've had amazing mackerel, uni and toro here.
Teppo There are two reasons for sitting at the bar at Teppo. If you're a conversationalist, the guys working the knives behind the counter are fun to talk with. And if you love baseball, it's always on the TV at the end of the bar.
Something tells me if a shokunin, or master sushi chef, caught these guys stealing glances at Yu Darvish, he'd unsheathe a katana sword. Thankfully this isn't that kind of sushi restaurant. Grab a beer and ask the guy rolling your maki which team he's pulling for, and then eat and drink through the final out and beyond.
Teppo gets a bonus for having the best mackerel that's ever graced my palate. If you live anywhere near East Dallas, make this your neighborhood spot.
Tei Tei Robata Love sushi? Have a friend who doesn't? Take them to Tei Tei Robata and everything will be OK. The heart of this Knox-Henderson restaurant is the robatayaki grill, which blisters and blackens all manner of fish and meats. Set your date up with a grilled whole bronzino and then indulge all the sushi you can handle, free from guilt.
Tei-An Tei-An delivers the most polished sushi experience in Dallas, perfect for those nights when you're looking for a fix before the opera or a musical. The front-end staff is reverent, and the ingredients are as good as they get. Of course, Tei-An will pummel your wallet like a sumo wrestler, but it also delivers an unparalleled sushi experience.
Pro tip for the budget-conscious: Lunch is very affordable here.