In this time of unstable supply chains, it seems even more prodigious and extraordinary to find that we can still eat silky, raw fish in the form of sushi and sashimi—cool pale madai or fatty, decadent toro. It always feels like a miracle. Even more so now.
Is there, after all, anything more ephemeral? Or that stands to showcase more skill? It’s a little marvelous and unbelievable.
While we don’t have any illusions of omakase, here are spots to satisfy your craving for pristine raw fish and maybe something to dip into bright ponzu sauce. And, okay, maybe sake or shochu.
All offer curbside pickup or delivery. Check websites for specific instructions and specials. Also look for deals—percentages off pickup or sake and other beverages.
The modern Japanese bistro is known for its take-out bento and pressed sushi (precise layers of toppings and sushi rice molded into rectangles), but you’ll also find comforting, hearty, traditional noodle bowls, like udon topped with tempura and beef curry soba. They’re serving a limited number of their sushi rolls.
Yutaka is offering their full sushi menu, which in our experience includes adroitly executed volleys of delicate flounder, sweet-fleshed sea eel, or shrimp. Toro melts like butter; yellowtail is firmer. Bright orange uni, all saline pungency, is like diving into bracing ocean depths and emerging a little breathless. In contrast to such crisp flavors, you can find hot dishes like grilled black cod or hamachi collar.
Our temple of modern fusion, which flirts with flavors from elsewhere, has a pared-down menu of warm tastings—maybe grilled escolar in ponzu—and cool tastings—yellowtail and orange suprèmes, Japanese bream with Asian pear, or flounder with candied quinoa—as well as a few dishes like beets with yuzu tofu puree or lemony deep-fried brussels sprouts. Impeccable sushi and sashimi, of course, and signature rolls (that ham and eggs with pork katsu or wagyu shortrib and kimchi emulsion).
The cult favorite recently opened up a second location on SMU Boulevard helmed by Tri Tran, the nephew of founder Thanh Nguyen. Both locations are serving up the full menu of hot Vietnamese dishes and innovative sushi rolls for takeout. Try the Royce roll, with crab and avocado wrapped in soy paper, topped with yellowtail and wafer-thin slices of lemon; the artful Flower roll, with salmon, avocado, and crunchy tempura flakes rolled in tuna and arranged like rosebuds atop piped spicy mayo stems; or the Thanh scallop roll, gilded with serrano pepper, tobiko roe, and a drizzle of truffle oil. Ask advanced sommelier Brian Huynh, who trained at The Mansion and Gemma, for his pairing suggestions from the 50-percent-off wine list.
The Northeast Dallas restaurant is offering its vast menu, including family-sized platters and bento boxes. But our hearts flutter for the innovative “mosaic” sushi: a checkboard of pressed sushi squares with various toppings that might include lacquer-brushed unagi, tamago omelet, or delicate salmon embellished with microgreens, edible flowers, or jewels of roe. It’s almost too pretty to eat.
At this dark, hip spot in Deep Ellum—usually a long, narrow room with a 24-seat counter—it’s about handrolls: rice and a mashed tartare of seafood rolled into a cylinder of crisp nori. Our favorites include fluffy red crab punched up with a low rumble of flavor from garlic aioli and spicy tuna with crunch from bits of deep-fried yam. Try vegetable combinations like mountain yam or gourd. Shareable izakaya bites include crispy brussels sprouts, cream cheese and crab poppers, or rock shrimp tempura with creamy-spicy yuzu. The decadent $30 nori dragon roll with red crab and unagi is on the take-out menu, unbelievably. Also excellent sake.
The chic Park Cities hot spot is serving a solid assortment of sushi and Asian-fusion specialties for well-heeled neighbors. Simplicity rules in the spicy tuna roll, but there’s also snow crab and or specialties like the Dragon Lady Press, with flame-seared salmon, serrano peppers, and crispy onions or Asian cabbage slaw or, again, coconut chicken jalapeño poppers with yellow curry dipping sauce. The saketini is a favorite.
The small sushi shop in Bishop Arts features its full menu of sushi, sashimi, and rolls. It’s always been good to vegans and vegetarians, with numerous sushi roll options like avocado and shaved carrot; beet, cilantro, and lime; or the traditional and delicate, salty-floral-fresh combination of ume (pickled plum), shiso leaf, and cucumber. Also look for dishes that feature tofu and inari (sweet fried tofu skin).
Edoko Sushi and Robata
With locations in Frisco and Richardson, the sleek restaurant is offering a full sushi menu (including a vast variety of seafood—think spicy scallop to cuttlefish and sake-marinated salmon roe), plus fancy rolls (all the cream cheese and avocado) and rice-less rolls for a lighter meal.
The Arts District spot is offering a small collection of specialty rolls and hot dishes from the kitchen that include steamed buns, seared scallops, black cod misozuke and five-spice duck leg confit. Price points are steep.