The first thing one receives at Oishii Sushi & Pan-Asian Cuisine is a large laminated menu and paper menu overflowing with sushi options. But if you sit at the sushi bar, there's a small, wall-mounted chalkboard above the chopping and dicing sushi chefs. The very top of that chalkboard reads #42, and this is what struck our eye.
#42? As in the answer to the ultimate question of life, the universe and everything?
Not so much. Actually, the server was eager to tell us that the #42 is one of their most popular off-the-menu rolls, so we ordered it without hesitation.
He also explained that the sushi bar will happily prepare anything one can think to order, as long as they have it in stock. He told us he'd make us "something special" that wasn't on the menu. While we waited for our off-the-menu items, we took a stab at Oishii's self-titled Oishii roll -- soft-shell crab and avocado in the middle of rolled rice and seaweed, with chopped snow crab, wasabi cream sauce and a dab of Sriracha on top -- and a bottle of nigori Sake.
The first off-the-menu item presented was a plate of thinly sliced salmon, yellowtail and tuna sashimi drenched in ponzu sauce with smelt roe, finely slivered fresh Serrano peppers and toasted sesame seeds - delicious!
Then, out came the mysterious #42.
The roll was comprised of spicy shrimp tempura and flakes in the middle of rolled rice and seaweed, with avocado and snow crab mixed together and slathered on top. It was then sprinkled with toasted sesame seeds, Thai chilies, and Sriracha sauce. It was scrumptious; quite possibly one of the most impressive non-traditional sushi rolls in town.
But why is it called the #42?
Turns out, the Dallas Observer listed it at #43 on its 100 Favorite Dishes of 2010 list, only then it was called the 911 roll - whoops! And well, we guess that whoever wrote down #42 did so because 42 is better than 43? Or maybe he or she's just a really big Douglas Adams fan?
Either way, the #42/#43 makes for an appetizing off-the-menu item.
Keep the Dallas Observer Free... Since we started the Dallas Observer, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Dallas, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Dallas with no paywalls.