A combination of old-school standbys and shiny new favorites, here are nine sushi spots to try right now.
Tasty sushi and classic Japanese dishes make the casually chic Montrose spot a local favorite.
Signature Dish: Hama Chili (baby yellowtail, ponzu, Thai chile and orange wedge).
Insider Tip: Skip the crowds and go Sunday through Wednesday after 8 PM or right at 5 PM.
2. Kata Robata
Modern and seasonal Japanese fare with French-fusion is the focus at the Upper Kirby hot spot.
Signature Dish: Kobe beef skewers and Hawaiian Amberjack sashimi with foie, tonic 05, lime juice, olive oil, roasted hazelnuts and chives.
Insider Tip: It's better to call ahead and make a reservation than to face a long wait.
3. Soma Sushi
The Washington Avenue restaurant offers a modern take on classic Japanese dishes. The social scene at the bar stays hopping thanks to a stellar happy hour.
Signature Dish: Spicy miso ramen.
Insider Tip: Happy hour is all day on Sundays.
4. Kuu Restaurant
The contemporary space at Gateway Memorial City features a giant graphic of a bluefin tuna with pulsating lights, a cocktail bar curved like the hull of a ship and standout Japanese fare artfully presented for an experience as pleasing to the eye as the stomach.
Signature Dish: Kanpaccio (with orange, yuzu, garlic, soy and Thai chile).
Insider Tip: Daily lunch specials are a steal, with $10.95 rice bowls, $15 bentos and $12 sushi rolls.
5. MF Sushi
Expect modern Japanese dishes and surroundings at the Briargrove neighborhood gem.
Signature Dish: The multicourse omakase dinner menu.
Insider Tip: Fresh fish arrives from Tokyo on Tuesdays and Fridays.
A bustling atmosphere plus tasty offerings from the sushi bar and robata grill make for a solid dining pick.
Signature Dish: Azuma roll (tuna, salmon, white fish, chile oil, shichimi, avocado and soybean paper).
Insider Tip: At lunchtime, the ramen is less expensive, and you still get dinner-size portions.
7. Uptown Sushi
A trendy, upscale crowd regularly turns out for creative Japanese-fusion dishes at the posh spot located at Uptown Park.
Signature Dish: 7 1/2 roll (tuna, salmon, yellowtail, masago, avocado and fried tempura topped with pepper paste, eel sauce and Japanese mayo).
Insider Tip: Skip the valet. There's plenty of parking in the lot at the Uptown Park complex.
8. Fish & The Knife
Japanese, Chinese and New Orleans French-Creole cuisines influence the menu at the Briargrove-area restaurant. You'll find everything from sushi to a chicken and andouille pot pie.
Signature Dish: Flaming volcano roll (seared tuna, crabstick, tomato, shrimp, eel, spicy tuna and snow crab).
Insider Tip: The front lounge transforms into a nightclub on weekends.
The modern Korean-Japanese fusion concept at Upper Kirby's West Ave complex features a grill room, sushi counter, chef’s table and grand cherry tree in the entryway (pictured above).
Signature Dish: Oh Torro (belly fatty tuna flown in from Spain).
Insider Tip: When eating sushi, chef Donald Chang recommends dipping the fish side only in the soy sauce (not the rice).
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