Tag Archives: Sushi

SusieDrinksDallas Visits Ivy Kitchen

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.
Video courtesy of Rico, write-up by Susie.
IVY KITCHEN

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

Fuse Blew a Fuse

This was meant to be my last article in QUICK but it didn’t make the final issue.  RIP QUICK! We’ll miss you … and the former Fuse.

———————————————————————————————————-

Up until about a year ago, Fuse was one of my favorite places in Dallas.  Their rooftop bar couldn’t be beat; it had it all, a bar, misters, a pool (you weren’t allowed to swim in it, I learned that the hard way), and even pagodas with mattresses to make the best place to have a small party or meet-up in Dallas. Please note the use of past tense.
 
In December the boom was lowered; Fuse was closing to renovate and reopen with a new concept.  Rumors spread like wildfire about what the “new concept” would be.  Some said it would be a hamburger joint concept by O Bar, others said it was just closing completely, along with about another dozen or so ideas.  We finally found out what the “new concept was”, which wasn’t a new concept at all, but new owners, a new menu, and a completely new feel.
 
The Scene:  They don’t have a website, but they do have a Facebook page with spotty updates, awkward pictures, and severely limited information about the restaurant/bar itself.  The look of the restaurant hasn’t changed a bit – bamboo, dark cement, and Asian-feeling curtains to give it some mystery … they almost had me duped.
 
I ventured to Fuse Japan with a veritable motley crew of drinking buddies, and once we arrived and ascended the bamboo-lined staircase to the second floor bar (on our own accord as there was a noticeably-empty host stand), we expected to see $30,000 millionaires and their floozies waving their Discover cards at the bartender barking to be served;  but what we saw was not only a shock, but a disappointment.  A couple hangers-on were at the bar and a few patrons were milling around by the pool.  We chose a table outside next to a lovely chair swing with a great view that was far away from the questionably-smelling misting fans.
 
The drink:  After waiting a good while for a waitress, I sought one out and ordered a round.  When she brought them, we were informed that they closed ½ hour before and the round in her hot, little hands would be our one and only.  Feeling bad for dragging my friends out for one drink, I decided to pick up the tab.  Expecting a $45 tab (as I am of the former Fuse school of thought), I was amazed when the tab was a mere $16.25.  Apparently, Fuse Japan offers a great reverse happy hour from 10 p.m. to close along with their standard happy hour from 5-7 p.m. – finally, a redeeming quality.
 
After the drinks were slurped, I took a poll of the drink strength using my usual scale (1 is all mixer and 5 is all liquor à la The Loon).  The result: an average of 1.68 between the five of us.  Not great seeing as they all came out a little wrong – a lemon here, a mixer there.
 
What people are wearing: the dress was much more casual than the former Fuse, mostly cotton dresses and some simple cover-ups with the faint smell of chlorine.
 
The food:  Hoping I could get an order of the brisket potstickers that I have dreamt of since my first Fuse experience in , I was told that the entire menu was new.  The food pales in comparison to the former Fuse’s beautifully constructed and imagined sushi and oriental-cum-Texas dishes.

I will take advantage of their “Taco Tuesday” where you can get tacos for a mere dollar, but you all are painfully aware of my cheap streak.

The music:  The music was mostly the catchy-pop a la Lady Gaga and new Britney; music cliche enough not to offend but upbeat enough to keep customers awake.

Parking:  You can either use their valet or park in one of the pay gratuitous amounts to pay in the garages in the area.

The bottom line:   If you were a fan of the former Fuse, stay away as your memories of the swanky fusion food and drink heaven will be forever spoiled.  
Newbies: have at it, but only during reverse happy hour.

Fuse Japan
Facebook Page
1512 Commerce Street, Suite 100 |
(214)742-3873

Specials:
Happy hour: 5-7 p.m., 10 p.m. – close
Taco Tuesday: $1 tacos (minimum 3)
Daily food specials

Hours:

Mon-Thurs: 11:30am-2:30pm, 5-11pm
Friday: 11:30am-2:30pm, 5pm-12am
Saturday: 5pm-12am

nobu

So I’m going to shoot straight with you … I don’t make tons of money (though my shoe collection may convince some otherwise).  If I did, I would dine at Nobu as often as possible.  I haven’t ever had anything but a great experience there and the food and drinks are always spot on.  After my last visit, I can rest assured that the next time I crave a good sake martini and rock shrimp, I can indulge myself without too much guilt at Nobu.

Nobu recently instituted ”Nobu Night” on Wednesday nights and it’s quite a doozy.  $6 appetizers (decent portions), $7 specialty martinis, and $4 beers.  Yes, this is the classy side of 75, so you should expect to pay a bit more … and it’s Nobu.  At these prices, can you ignore your practical side for a night and not regret it the next morning.

When you walk in, the staff will greet you in a badly-timed unison of “ishayamasai” or “welcome” and the mood is sultry but energized.  The decor is quite interesting with fake trees lining the far side of the restaurant and large columns throughout the dining area.

Make sure you get there at on the early side of happy hour because once the dinner crowd arrives, the wait staff gets a bit manic and the span between your drinks causes you to sober up and reconsider ordering another.  But then again, Nobu isn’t the place for a quick drink, but the kind of place you go expecting a few hours of strong drinks and three rounds of appetizers and put your people watching hat on.

The clientele is a blast to watch.  You see the businessmen sitting alone at the bar after a long day of work in the Crescent Towers and the older couples coming in for a quick bite of heaven before going to bed.  You’ll also see the typical Dallas crowd filter in as it gets later … I usually slip out before they arrive!

Definitely spoil yourself and try their Nobu Night … your stomach will thank you, though your liver may not.

Drink strength: 3.5
Overall: 4

Nobu
www.noburestaurants.com
400 Crescent Court | Dallas, TX 75201-1838 (Inside the Crescent Hotel)
(214) 252-7000

Specials:
Monday, Tuesday & Friday | 5-7 p.m. | all beers $4.00, all Signature cocktails $7, select appetizers $6
Wednesday & Thursday | 5-10 p.m. | all beers $4.00, all Signature cocktails $7, select appetizers $6 
Sunday | 50% all bottled wine $100 or less

sushi axiom

We strolled into Sushi Axiom for our reverse happy hour after a glass at Veritas and a quick meetup at Capitol Pub on a Thursday night.  The bar was somewhat full but the restaurant wasn’t.  We opted for a table on their huge patio since it was a nice night and people watching on Henderson is always interesting.  Once seated, we ordered some rolls and a sampler.  While not a sushi connoisseur, I was with two people who are and didn’t love our spread of food.

The reverse happy hour specials (read: sake) didn’t bring out my sake bomb game, but were fun nonetheless.  Our waitress also made our time at Sushi Axiom quite interesting and the strong drinks didn’t hurt.

I’d say your best bet is to sit at the bar and chat to one of my new favorite bartenders in Dallas, Kevin; he’s good for a good conversation and a laugh or two.  Just stay away from the spring rolls and good luck trying to get the happy hour specials straight!

Drink strength: 4

Sushi Axiom
www.sushiaxiom.net
2323 N. Henderson | Dallas TX, 75206
(214) 828-2288

Specials:
Happy Hour | M-Th | 5-7 p.m. | $2 off appetizers, $2 off classic rolls
Reverse Happy Hour | M-Th | 9-11 p.m. | $3 drafts, hot sake, and signature rolls, $1 sushi

Monday | 1/2 off signature martinis
Tuesday | $1 off drafts
Wednesday | $5 chardonnay and merlot
Sunday | $2 hot sake
FULL MOOD FRIDAYS | $3 drafts & hot sake

blue fish

After a run I felt like having something somewhat healthy and begged my friends to meet me at Sushi on McKinney.  Not having been since the reopen and lured by the huge BYOB sign out front, I couldn’t wait to eat.  Turns out … they got their liquor license and everything has almost doubled in price compared to the old haunt.  So off to Blue Fish we went.

… and what a great choice it was.  Pleasantly surprised by the Monday night 1/2 price wine special, we ordered a bottle and started picking out our rolls.  The Ahi Tower was delightful, and paired with the miso soup, delicious.  I wish I was a food critic to really explain why their sushi is so great, but I don’t have the repertoire to do it justice.  Suffices to say it was fresh, well rolled, and yummy.  I ended my meal with a vodka water (in true Susie tradition) which was only somewhat potent.

I think I’ll try to come back here for a $1 sake Thursday because our bill sneaked up on us and put a bigger dent in my wallet than I’d have hoped for a Monday night.

Blue Fish
www.thebluefishsushi.com
3519 Greenville Ave | Dallas (other locations in North Dallas, Los Colinas, and Florida)
(214) 824-3474

Specials:
Monday | 1/2 price selected bottles of wine
Tuesday |  Ladies Night: Blue Fish Martini special
Wednesday | draft specials 
Thursday | $1 sake

the fish

After another happy hour, I was coaxed into visiting The Fish for reverse happy hour.  Though reticent to stay out late on a Wednesday, it was SO worth it.

We ordered a few rolls and some sashimi and all of it was incredible.  I wish I had been hungry so I could have eaten more.  The Fish has made drink specials a snap:  just have them all day everyday!

The sake bombs made this last stop a blast.  We played my favorite sake bomb game:  someone gives the group a topic and each person tells their story about it (i.e. first kiss, most awkward moment, etc.), and then SAKE SAKE SAKE BOMB BOMB BOMB.  Makes for a fun night.

The outside seating at The Fish is either on a quiet street across from the driving range or in the breezeway and the seats are comfortable.  Inside, the light was low and the plush booths were welcoming.  The crowd, though sparse because we were there on a Wednesday, seemed an interesting bunch.

Make sure you try this place, and make sure you’re hungry (sake bombs fill you up quickly)!

The Fish
www.fishhouston.com/dallas
3636 McKinney Ave., Suite 150 
Dallas, TX 75204
(214)522-0071

Specials:
EVERYDAY | ALL DAY! | $3 wells, drafts, and sake & selected food discounts

Thanks again to my two most reliable happy hour buddies, Matt and Brandon!