Category Archives: Sake

Blue Sushi & Sake Bar

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!


BLUE SUSHI SAKE GRILL
bluesushisakegrill.com
Instagram: @BlueSushiSakeGrill
Twitter: @WeServeFunSushi
various locations

pictures courtesy of Blue Sushi Sake

Oni Ramen

In the wake of losing Kin Kin Urban Thai, the space has taken new life as Oni Ramen–it’s a super casual atmosphere that provides you with super quick service a la other quick serve restaurants at lunch and table-side service at dinner. One of the biggest bonuses Oni provides are its hours–Friday and Saturday night they stay until 4 am. I mean Whataburger is great, but fatty, rich ramen sounds like a way better late night choice to me.

Oni has a few speciality ramen options on their incredibly straightforward and simple menu, as well as their signature miso (my personal favorite). From there, you can build your own if those options aren’t doing it for you. Pick a classic ramen then add extra protein, vegetables, and spice of your choice. Toppings include pork belly, chicken thighs, tempura shrimp, soft or hard-boiled eggs, leafy greens, bean sprouts, corn kernels, and many more. But, choose wisely when picking your spice … this isn’t the time to show off in front of you buddies. If you order it too spicy- you’re SOL because they won’t remake your ramen. The “mild” spice is made with ichimi togarashi pepper, “medium” is made with Aleppo and Thai pepper, “hot” is made with habanero and ghost pepper, “fire” is made with ghost/7-pot and scorpion pepper … and then there’s “demon”–a mix of scorpion X and Carolina reaper pepper. I was scared to go beyond “medium” for my whole bowl, but my spice tolerance isn’t that high. From my experience, there is a huge jump in spice between the “medium” and “hot”.

Tonkotsu: pork belly and light chicken broth seasoned with soy
Tonkotsu: pork belly and light chicken broth seasoned with soy

I tried their signature miso–pork belly, corn, bamboo shoots, and sprouts–that was absolutely delicious. The broth was super flavorful and the pork belly was fall- apart tender. I want to go back to try different things, but I really just want more of this signature miso. Life is hard.

GF? Vegetarian? They are super accommodating to customers’ dietary needs. They have a gluten-free ramen item (salt ramen with shirataki-yam noodles), a vegetarian option (cabbage-soy broth topped with woodear), and all ramen is available low sodium.

Ok, what about the drinks? My favorite thing to order with my piping hot ramen is cold sake. Oni has a Gekkeikan Sake machine that pours delicious, cold sake that can be ordered by the carafe. They also have a handful of other sake available along with cocktails. For cocktails, my favorites were the Gomper-san and the Lychee Mule. Drink prices are great all the time at Oni, but for a really good deal, go during happy hour.

Oni Cocktail Menu
Oni Cocktail Menu

BONUS: Tag #‎MyOniBowl for a chance to be featured at Oni as the Ramen Bowl of the Week where other diners can order, eat & enjoy your ramen customization process.

Oni Ramen
oniramen.com
Facebook | Twitter
Chef Garcia’s Instagram
2801 W 7th Street (Fort Worth)
817-882-6554

Hours: Sunday-Thursday 11am-2:30pm/5pm-10pm
Friday-Saturday 11am-2:30pm/5pm-4am

Sushi Zushi

Sushi Zushi, the home of the crazy scion delivery cars you see around, is a modern sushi joint over on Oak Lawn.  It has been around for a while but I’ve only ever been there for lunch (and not liqud ones).  I made it in for dinner and just missed happy hour, but our waiter still let my drinks slide as happy hour ones.

The drinks came snappily and gave us something to sip on while we poured over the menu … which is a novel.  S.Z. offers almost 200 different rolls along with other non-fishy options … both for vegetarians and meatatarians.

We got through a whole drink before we decided what we wanted —- but had maaaaany questions.  I am allergic to those silly, little orange fish eggs that are on some sushi rolls, so we made sure to ask which were OK for me.  The waiter gave us suggestions and somehow we got a roll that was COVERED in the eggs.  Not so well done, sir.  They handled it well and got us another without the orange mosters and didn’t charge us for the replacement.

The sushi was good – nothing mind-blowing, but good.  Make sure you pass on the fried skewer things … they weren’t worth the calories.

Now, back to the drinks.  They were strong enough if we weren’t eating, but since we ate and drank, they didn’t have any effect.  They offer a full bar, beer, wine, and sake.  Their specialty cocktail list includes a cucumber sakitini, yuzu basil sakitini, southern heat, and stawberry ginger martini.

S.Z.’s atmosphere is modern with “unst unst” music playing in the restaurant and bird noises in the bathrooms.  They have a large bar that looks prime for after-work drinks to rehash a rough meeting; but they don’t have TVs so don’t try to catch a game here.  The coolest part of S.Z. is the large, shaded patio with bamboo walls; even though it faces the sun when it sets, it’s not too bright.

I won’t push my friends to head back here; I’d rather go somewhere with a cheaper menu.

Drink strength: 3
Overall: 3.2

Sushi Zushi
www.sushizushi.com
3858 Oak Lawn | (214)522-7253

Specials:
Happy hour | Monday-Friday, 3-7 p.m.
$3 wells, drafts, and hot sake
$5 specialty cocktails and house wines
$7 other sakes