Full disclosure: My husband and I have been fans of Blue Sushi in Fort Worth for several years, so when I found out they were (finally!) opening Dallas locations, I was thrilled, albeit a little reserved. I couldn’t help but wonder whether it would be as good as we love all the way across DFW.
Short answer: Yes. The newest location nestled on the corner of McKinney Avenue and Bowen on the bottom floor of the M-Line Tower, Blue Sushi Sake Grill is a welcome addition to this strip of McKinney. (We’ve discovered that we love the roomy location on 75 at Walnut Hill, too!)
The hostesses were welcoming, the bartenders efficient, and true to memory, the menu included well-executed staples such as tuna tatake as well as more inventive small bites like the lightly fried, creamy-spicy Dragon Shrimp appetizer.
The space is cozy without feeling cramped and the high-top tables in the bar area are large enough to accommodate a group waiting for their reservation. Although it was too chilly to sit outside when we visited, the daily happy hour specials and prime people-watching real estate are sure to pack the small patio come springtime.
While I’m typically more of a wine drinker, the specialty cocktails were light and fruity, if a little summer-y, and we especially liked the Samuri Saketini, a refreshing blend of cucumber lime vodka and unfiltered sake garnished with cucumber. If you’re a fan of sake but maybe don’t know where to start, the two sake flights are a fun way to try a several options.
We had as great an experience at the new Uptown location as we’d come to expect from it’s Fort Worth sibling, and have recommended this spot multiple times to friends looking for good sushi and a fun atmosphere. Be sure to check out their lunch, vegan, and gluten-free menus as well!
I don’t enjoy being poked (hello, flirting on Facebook in 2006), but Denver QSR Tokyo Joe’s changed my tune last night. I was invited in last night to try some of their goodies at the restaurant (I had some of their items delivered when they opened) including their new Poke Bowls and quite enjoyed the experience.
I started my night with a Lucky Buddha beer while waiting for my friend. (I’d liken it most to a Heineken.) Tokyo Joe’s offers a couple imported beers and a few Shiner options (CHEER?!?!?!), along with some of the usual suspects. It being a Tuesday, I opted for a single beer and my friend went for their tea bar, which they stock with two of their five tea options at all times.
I sipped and ordered a few little bites–the Gyoza (steamed pork dumplings with Joe’s dipping sauce), Miso Soup, and white chicken Spring Rolls. I was delighted to see three options of spring rolls–white chicken, tiger shrimp, and organic tofu. The basil in them was refreshing and I nearly guzzled the peanut dipping sauce on its own.
We were encouraged to try the new (launching today, 2/3) Poke bowls (ok … they say that it’s actually pronounced pok-ay)–one tuna and one salmon. The fish was fresh and incredibly tender and the avocado was perfectly ripe. My favorite part? They added chopped Macadamia nuts on my tuna bowl. Hell to the yes.
Tokyo Joe’s offers much more than just the poke bowls–made-to-order sushi rolls, bento boxes (also launching 2/3), salads, additional bowls, and more. And, if you’re like me, you feel empowered when you make decisions, but hate to do it at the same time. Enter: TJ’s bowls. Each bowl gives you limited (but generous) options with your choice of five proteins, three carbs, 11 sauces, and 13 vegetables.
Surprisingly, they also offer made-to-order sushi using fresh fish and REAL crab. The CaliTartare Roll we enjoyed had a serious and unexpected kick to it and the lemongrass aioli was seriously delicious.
The thing I love aboutRA Sushi is the imaginative and often unexpected twist they seem to gravitate toward when dreaming up their delectable menu items. Take my current favorite RA cocktail offering, for instance- the Emperor’s Cucumber Margarita ($9; Patron Silver, Combier Liqueur d’Orange, lime juice, Japanese yuzu, agave nectar, cucumber). The last place in the world you would expect to find a legit marg might be a sushi restaurant, but trust me, this interesting spin on a traditional ‘rita is uniquely delicious.
Channeling that same creativity and use of thoughtful and surprising ingredients, RA Sushi has dreamed up nine new menu items, which will be available for a limited time (through August). I had the opportunity to sample some of the new menu offerings, and they did not disappoint.
RA has added three new cocktails to the roster, and my favorite of the bunch had to be the Pear and Lemon Blossom ($8.50),a pear-infused lemonade, made with Absolute Pears, St. Germain, lemon sour, and a pear puree. The pear flavor in this fruity cocktail was not shy, and it mingled nicely with the tart lemon; oh-so-sippable and refreshing for spring. Also new are the Hot Tropics Margarita ($8.50): Tanteo Tropical Tequila, Combier Liqueur d’Orange, shaken with mango purée, lime juice and agave nectar, served with a chili-salted rim; and the Peach Basil Sour ($8.50): Bacardi Peach Red, St. Germain, fresh basil and lemon sour.
RA also has some new limited time sake offerings, including TY KU Coconut Nigori Sake ($8/$16 *330ML Bottle): premium nigori sake infused with the refreshing taste of coconut and aromatic hints of vanilla; and, the enticing Discovery Sake Flight ($9): which includes three 2 oz. pours: MIO Sparkling, Kizakura Pure and Saturi “Little Lily” Nigori.
Two new appetizers have been introduced, each featuring seabream. I found myself wondering “What’s a seabream?”, and soon learned it is in fact a mild white fish with a taste and texture similar to sea bass. We sampled Red Seabream Carpaccio ($11): finely sliced red seabream and lemon topped with a spicy yuzu dressing, organic micro greens, truffle salt and touch of lemon zest; this light dish was full of fresh, delicate flavor, and it was a favorite at our table. Also available is Red Seabream Nigiri ($4.50): red seabream over rice, topped with spicy yuzu dressing and truffle salt.
We sample two new entree offerings, and I particularly enjoyed the Tuna California Roll ($9), a classic California Roll topped with a mix of tuna, avocado, cucumber, bell pepper and cilantro, finished with togarashi, garlic chips and black pepper soy sauce. Garlic lovers, this roll is for you. The toasted garlic chips were bursting with flavor, and I loved the extra crunch they provided for added texture. We also tried the Langostino Strawberry Salad ($12): langostino, strawberries, cucumber and avocado over arugula, tossed in citrus vinaigrette, served with a tangy kiwi wasabi sauce and truffle salt. This salad was very light and fresh, making it a perfect warmer weather dish.
Whether you’re thinking about checking out these tempting new menu items, or if it’s high time you stopped in for some of your old favorites, a great time to visit RA Sushi would be between Monday, May 25, and Sunday, May 31. During “Nicky’s Week,” RA Sushi will donate 100% of sales from a variety of menu items to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, in order to benefit kids battling cancer and other life-threatening diseases. So, go and eat sushi for charity!
Ivy Kitchen is a new restaurant that serves sushi, steaks, and one of the best burgers I’ve ever eaten. We had the pleasure of speaking with Brit Milam who came to Ivy Kitchen from Cured in San Antonio and has left his mark on the restaurant. He spoke about Ivy Kitchen’s local vs. global attitude, which means they refuse to sacrifice quality to call something local.
Their drinks are top notch (the Bootstrap Manhattan is not to be missed) and their wine list, curated by Raven Wine, is one of the most brilliantly simple lists I’ve seen in Dallas. They offer some of my favorite local liquor brands, including TX Whiskey and Cinco Vodka! Their Sake Margarita is a sort of surf and turf of the cocktail world and The Ivy is their best seller.
Ivy Kitchen offers an abridged menu available in the Look & Dine theater of LOOK Cinema, which shares one wall with them. Don’t worry … they won’t serve anything in there that’s too pungent out of courtesy of the other moviegoers!
Alcohol offerings: Full bar, full wine list, local and import beers (some local drafts)
Brunch: Saturday and Sunday
TVs: in the bar
Kitchen hours: 11am-10pm
Bar hours: an hour after the restaurant (especially Thursday-Saturday)
Gluten-free options: yes
Not to miss:
Edemame is coated in the crazy good spice
Crab cake is possibly the most amazing thing I’ve ever eaten. The Cole slaw has macadamia nuts in it and is badass. Like … legit.
Their Burger patty is made with equal parts short rib, brisket, and beef … and it’s one of the best burgers that I’ve ever had.