Sam Jung always wanted to own a restaurant. He began saving money at age 18, and launched his first eatery, J Sushi Restaurant, at the age of 23, all while a student at UNT. Three years later, Sam and his team of chefs and servers still float mountains of fresh sushi to customers on boat-shaped platters. They weight the decks of the mini vessels with creations such as the crispy roll—a deep fried combination of tuna, salmon, and Hamachi—or the cu kani maki, which replaces the traditional seaweed wrapping with thinly-sliced cucumber. Sam also crafts creative specialty rolls, such as the cherry blossom roll, which is presented as petal shaped pieces wrapped in pink tuna after being harvested from the freshest sushi trees.
Though sushi is often best enjoyed with friends, don’t expect to bring 11 people to Keiichi. The intimate setting only has 10 seats, but that's part of the allure. Chef Keiichi Nagano prepares his impeccably fresh cuisine right in front diners without a wall, glass, or pair of protesting octopi blocking his precise knife-cuts from view. Those who call ahead for a seat can also request an omakase tasting menu of the chef’s choice, an option that is highly recommended by the Dallas News, who called it a “transporting experience”.
High-backed leather banquettes break up the smoked-salmon red expanse of Sushi Fugu's walls, which are gently illuminated by slender hanging lamps. Artwork peppers the walls, the abstract crimson swirls serving as a pleasant distraction from a meal, unlike an airplane copilot with uptight ideas about when it is appropriate to make a hoagie. Sleek wooden tables serve as a minimalist stage, where the food shines; platters showcase colorful sushi rolls and thin slices of super-white tuna and eel. Meanwhile, hot pan-Asian dishes emerge from the kitchen, where thai spices mingle with kebabs, thick udon noodles simmer in flavorful broths, and soy sauce dapples dumplings.