Fittingly, the jalapeno inside of Kotta Sushi Lounge's Jackie Chan Roll gives the dish a kick. The pepper spices up a mix of crab, mango, tuna, and avocado, all decorated with a cilantro ponzu sauce. The roll is part of a long menu of sushi creations, whose wrappers contain ingredients such as asparagus and flash-fried calamari.
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”.
At Geisha Steak and Sushi Restaurant, fine dining mingles with culinary arts in a creative menu of Japanese specialties cooked over open flames or rolled fresh on the sushi bar. While juggling the entire food pyramid over the hibachi grill, chefs combine meats such as chicken and calamari, filet mignon and shrimp, and steak and lobster with steamed rice and assorted veggies. Meats sizzle as mounds of noodles brown atop the grill and mix with tangy sauces that land somewhere between salty and sweet, like a grizzled sailor’s love letters. The chefs condition taste buds to swoon over cylindrical foods by creating specialty rolls such as the flash-fried White Dragon roll with tuna, salmon, and avocado, or the Fuji-san, composed of shrimp tempura, snow crabs and spicy mayo. Their desserts—such as banana tempura, fried strawberry cheesecake, and mochi ice cream made from rice—deliciously round out meals, leaving otherwise noisy stomachs pleasantly subdued and receptive to patting.