Plano, TX — Japan House

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Published on: November 3, 2012
Japan House
300 W Plano Parkway
Plano, TX

I was in Dallas for a week and some colleagues suggested that we go out for sushi.Sounded good to me and they suggested Japan House. Japan House is one of those Japanese Mega-Buffets with a little bit of everything on the menu. I have to admit that I was a little bit leery. My experience with these restaurants ranges from Ichi Umi which I enjoy to Todai which I swore to never set foot in again.

I enjoyed everything about Japan House — except the sushi. There were a number of excellent cooked fish, beef and pork dishes. I also enjoyed the salad selection and noodle dishes.

(By the way, Japan House commits a grievous sin on their website, they play audio without asking for the reader’s permission.)

When I am in the Plano area, I will be back to Japan House. I can recommend the restaurant but not the sushi.

Japan House 3 rice bowls * * * - -

Irving, TX — The Blue Fish

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Published on: July 15, 2009
The Blue Fish Japanese Restaurant
925 W. John Carpenter Freeway
Irving, TX

Texas in August is hot. The temperature today was over 100 degrees so when it cooled off tonight around 9:00pm, I decided to go for sushi. I had read some reviews of The Blue Fish and it looked like it would be a good choice.

The Blue Fish is a large sushi restaurant with a huge bar. The atmosphere is more like a club than a typical sushi restaurant. The tables are dark and the music is pounding and loud. Not the kind of place I normally enjoy. Since I was dining alone with a book, the only place that looked like it might have enough light to read was the sushi bar.

As I sat at the sushi bar I was pleasantly surprised by the menu. There were not a lot of exotic sushi items or specials. On the other hand the menu had several interesting items including a unique collection of sushi rolls. I decided to take advantage of the menu and order a non-traditional meal.

I started with Miso soup and chose a house specialty, the Ahi Tower to go with it. The Ahi Tower is raw tuna over a crab and avocado salad on top of sushi rice with sesame oil and creamy wasabi sauce. When it was served, my waitress asked to mix it all together. I was a bit skeptical but the Ahi Tower was excellent. It was just a little bit spicy but when mixed together, I found myself savoring every bite. It was so good, I found myself eating slowly so as to enjoy it even more.

The next unique item I ordered was the Peking Duck Cigars. They are a sort of egg roll wrapped around peking Duck served with a dipping sauce. I love duck of all kinds, especially Peking Duck. This presentation however ground or shredded the duck. It tasted as much like ground beef as duck. It was really the low pooint of the meal.

From the sushi roll menu, I ordered the Hawaiian roll. The Hawaiian roll is salmon, cream cheese, avocado, cucumber, pineapple topedd with salmon and shredded coconut. I was skeptical but the roll was absolutely awesome. The tastes went together suprisingly well and the juciness of the pinapple set off the taste and texture of the cream cheese. I was not sure about the coconut flakes but they were a nice complement to everything else.

The Blue Fish came very close to getting 5 rice bowls. Better lighting, more specials or better execution of the Peking Duck Cigars — any one of these would have rated 5 rice bowls.

I definitely enjoyed The Blue Fish — not perfect but very good.

The Blue Fish 4 rice bowls * * * * -

Richardson, TX — Sushi Sake

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Published on: June 5, 2009
Sushi Sake
2150 N Collins Blvd
Richardson, TX

Spending the week in Garland Texas, I asked my colleagues to recommend a sushi restaurant. Several of them recommended Sushi Sake. All of them suggested that while Sushi Sake is the best sushi restaurant in the area, they also said that it is expensive.

Sushi Sake is a smart-looking Japanese restaurant in its own building behind a strip mall. I followed the directions in my GPS and for a while, I thought that I was lost. I drove behind the strip mall, and it looked like I was entering a residential district. The building was not well lit from the outside, but the parking lot was pretty full for a Thursday night.

The interior of Sushi Sake i sdark and very modern lookuing with a Japanese theme. I sat at the sushi bar, but the place had plenty of table seating. The tables were reminiscent of tatami-stle mats.

As I was seated, a waitress brought me a hot towel —nice touch. I ordered a sashimi combo, Miso soup and gyoza. The combos were reasonably priced but the a la carte menu was pretty pricy.

Sushi Sake, had several specials — a very good sign. When the waitress brought my soup, she also brought a small dish, as sort of Japanese amuse-bouche. It turned out to be a small sunomono salad with cucumber and seaweed in vinegar. It was awesome.

There were seceral sushi chefs working the bar tonight. The guy making my sashimi had (to use the vernacular) mad knife skills. I love the way he sliced the cucumber garnish for the sashimi. The presentation was very good.

The steamed gyoza was very tasty. I wish that it had been served before the sashimi.

The sashimi was a nice combination of tuna, salmon, surf clam and yellowtail. At $14, the combo price seemed reasonable. All of the fish was fresh and tasty. I thought the yellowtail and salmon were especially good.

The service at Sushi Sake was excellent. Empty plates were removed swiftly and efficiently. My glass was kept filled and the sushi chef even noticed when I needed a drink refill.

When the chef asked if I wanted anything else, I asked about Giant Clam. He pulled out a large piece and asked me how much I would like. I asked for two pieces of sashimi. once again, he did his wizardry with the knife and arranged the sashimi in a fancy bowl. The giant clam was absolutely perfect. I haven’t had it in a while since many places do not carry it. To top off the meal, the chef sliced up an orange and served it as a desert.

I could not find a single thing wrong with Sushi Sake — I will be back.

Sushi Sake 5 rice bowls * * * * *

Austin, TX — Musashino Sushi Dokoro

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Published on: June 6, 2008
Musashino Sushi Dokoro
3407 Greystone Dr.
Austin, TX

I have never really thought of Texas as a sushi hotbed, so I was skeptical as I entered the address for Musashino into my GPS. When I pulled up to the address, I was confused. The building said Chinatown not Musashino.

I assumed that the place had closed. I was still hungry so I went in and enjoyed a nice lunch of egg rolls and sweet and sour pork. When I finished, I asked about the restrooms and the hostess sent me to the basement. Imagine my surprise when I discovered that Musashino was still in business and located in the basement of Chinatown.

I came back to Musashino later to give it a try. Musashino is a large sushi restaurant with a menu of sushi and other Japanese items. I would characterize Musashino’s menu as unusual. The categories were:

  1. Fusion Appetizers
  2. Traditional Appetizers
  3. Salad and Soup
  4. Entrees
  5. Sushi
  6. Traditional Rolls
  7. US Rolls
  8. Hand Rolls
  9. Desserts

I chose an excellent seaweed salad. I spent some time looking at sushi combos and ala carte items. In the end, I selected two rolls from the US Rolls menu. I choose the Texas Hybrid Roll with salmon and the Rock and Roll.

The Texas Hybrid Roll was unique. You get to choose between tuna or salmon rolled in rice paper with avocado and scallions. It was served with a spicy sauce. The rice paper added a nice touch. I have had very few sushi items that I have enjoyed as much as this roll.

The Rock and Roll comes with shrimp tempura, some sort of roe, avocado, radish sprouts and a sweet sauce. I don’t normally like tempura of any sort but I thought I would give it a try. I ordered mine without the roe. I was pleasantly surprised. The roll was excellent. The tempura gave it a crunchy texture and the sauce set it off nightly.

Everything about Musashino Sushi Dokoro was good — I’ll be back.

Musashino 4 rice bowls * * * * -

Houston, TX — Kona Grill

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Published on: January 25, 2007
Kona Grill
5061 Westheimer Rd. (In the Galleria)
Houston, TX

I was in Houston on business this week and I stayed in a hotel across the street from the Houston Galleria. The Galleria is the fourth largest mall in America. Since my client was in an office building attached to the Galleria, I did not bother to rent a car. One evening I decided to go out for sushi, I had been watching Law & Order and I did not realize that it was already 9pm. Too late to take a cab to one of the sushi bars my colleagues recommended but I remembered that in the mall, Kona Grill was open late. I called and they were open until midnight.

Kona Grill is a kind of restaurant that I normally don’t like. It is an Asian fusion place with a very busy, very trendy bar. When I walked in, I was seated in the dining room on the mall side of the restaurant.. While the bar was dark, the dining room was well lit and I was able to read my book.

I ordered a seaweed salad and the sashimi combo. The salad looked like it had been formed in a mold and was served with a lemon on top. The seaweed was perfect, crisp cool and tasty and the bit of lemon was the perfect addition.

The sashimi was a large portion, 18 large pieces. Three each of tuna, salmon, octopus, mackerel, yellowtail and red snapper. The fish portions were perhaps a bit over-sized but the fish was perfect. I often rate a place based on the quality of the mackerel. Kona’s mackerel was excellent, not overly marinated with great texture and skin.

For dessert, I had the passion fruit crème brulée it was garnished with fresh raspberries. After the disappointing crème brulée I had next door at the Oceanaire earlier in the week — Kona’s seemed especially good.

Only a lack of chef’s specials and average presentation, kept Kona from getting five rice bowls.

Kona Grill: 4 rice bowls * * * * -


Dallas, TX — Royal Sushi

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Published on: March 29, 2005
Royal Sushi
11407 Emerald Street
Dallas, TX
(972) 241-9911
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