At Hon Machi Sushi & Teppanyaki, the chefs take center stage to entertain every sense as they fashion culinary works of art. Whether they're on the sidelines putting together specialty hand rolls at the sushi bar or searing combinations of steak, lobster, and chicken at tableside grills, half of the experience is watching chefs create the tasty meals. Deep-red walls surround the eight-seat teppanyaki stations that encourage guests to chat with fellow diners and let them know if they have rice in their beards.
Sake Cafe’s chefs mix and match myriad ingredients into nearly 20 specialty rolls. Their culinary centerpieces range from the Red Dragon’s shrimp tempura and seared tuna to the Spicy Kita-Kita’s five different fish slices wrapped around jumbo scallops and scallions. Grilled eel and fresh mango unite on the mango-and-eel roll, and the house roll is a cylinder of chopped Hawaiian ahi tuna, wild salmon, and yellowtail splashed with tobiko caviar all over the outside so it arrives smelling like seafood.
Though its name suggests otherwise, the Forget About It roll’s unorthodox ingredients make it pretty memorable: the flavorful crunch of shrimp tempura is wrapped up with crawfish and accented by ginger cream. It's just one of the many unique combinations dreamed up by Piranha Killer Sushi's owner and chef, Kenzo Tran. Non-traditional sushi fixings are Kenzo’s specialty, from the White Lotus roll’s pico de gallo and truffle oil sauce to the Bullet roll’s cilantro chili purée and edible police officer’s badge.
That blend of the classic and unconventional runs throughout Piranha Killer Sushi's menu at all four locations including the newly remodeled location in Fort Worth. Besides distinctive rolls, the kitchen serves up dishes such as Korean beef in ginger marinade, salads with octopus and spicy conch, and blue crab fried rice. Ditto the drink menu, featuring specialty libations such as the saketini, a blend of vodka, gin, and sake with a cucumber garnish. The restaurant's whimsical take on Japanese fare hasn't gone unnoticed—media outlets laud it for its tasty creations and inviting decor.
In 2008, brothers Yuen and Peter Yung opened the first How Do You Roll? restaurant, devoting it to inventive, customizable sushi. Since then, the eatery has expanded to multiple locations across four states—and in February of 2013, after they pitched their concept to the notorious panel on ABC's "Shark Tank," an investor decided to sink his teeth into helping the business grow even further. The shark-worthy idea? Chefs invite customers to build their own sushi rolls or bowls, beginning with white or brown rice, which can then be topped or rolled with ingredients such as raw spicy salmon, grilled chicken, avocado, and strawberries. Sauces such as wasabi mayo and toppings such as chili powder finish off each roll.
Other favorites at How Do You Roll? come in the form of preset combinations such as the Mango Tango, whose krab stick, salmon, vegetables, and mango salsa are assembled by a chef holding a rose in his teeth. The menu also caters to healthy-minded diners with low-carb bowls, gluten-free options, and 13 rolls that contain fewer than 300 calories apiece.
Taking traditional culinary techniques and squeezing them through a filter of modern influences, Nagoya Steak and Sushi refines its menu of familiar Japanese cuisine. Manning tabletop hibachi grills, chefs entertain their hungry audiences by juggling utensils and causing the grills' surfaces to spout flames while they sear orders of chicken, steak, and lobster. Back in the kitchen, another team of chefs sets about topping crispy fillets of red snapper with lime-chili sauce and glazing tuna steaks with teriyaki-balsamic blends.
Striving to create more delicate–yet equally enticing–dishes, sushi chefs fill plates with meticulously sliced sashimi and carefully folded rolls. While the maki selection features a number of traditional sushi-house staples, it also includes the restaurant's own custom-designed creations. Featuring such premium ingredients as lobster tempura, filet mignon, and individually steamed rice grains, these signature rolls offer a fancy dining experience akin to picnicking atop a blimp.
A red horseshoe-shaped bar dominates the dining room at Roll On Sushi Diner, encouraging patrons to grab a stool and watch the chefs as they sculpt maki with inventive ingredients that are reminiscent of an American diner. The menu's Austin-inspired rolls deviate from Japanese traditions, featuring unconventional fillings such as beef brisket, chicken-fried steak, or candied walnuts inside a cylinder of rice and nori instead. As co-owner Chip Reed told Austin Monthly in 2011, "no one has ever told us, ‘you’re not supposed to do that’… so we have no limitations on what we can create." He and his cohort, Chad Reed, helm a staff of servers who place each roll on a color-coded plate that corresponds to its price. This allows diners and servers alike to quickly tally the final bill without hiring a CPA for the afternoon.