In December of 2012, just six weeks after debuting a gorgeous renovation, Oishii, one of Dallas' beloved sushi spots, was devastated by fire. That’s the bad news. The good news is that they are now open again and better than before.
The redesign has made the restaurant more open, airy, and inviting than ever. The sushi bar is now U-shaped and serves as the centerpiece of the venue dividing the restaurant area from the bar area, while still creating a cohesive look.
Oishii offers all of the usual suspects (deliciously prepared, I must say), as well as a variety of special rolls, including a handful of off-menu goodies that regularly appear on the chalkboard above the sushi bar.
One of my new favorite rolls is the #42. It’s a spicy shrimp and tempura flake roll with avocado and crabmeat on top that is then sprinkled with sesame seeds, chili powder, jalapeño, and Sriracha sauce. The owner, Thanh Nguyen, tells me that it used to be called the 911 roll. But it was number 42 of a local Dallas publication’s list of favorite dishes in 2010. So, he decided to honor the recognition with a name change.
The Summer Roll is another one of my favorite picks, with salmon and crab wrapped in cucumber with ponzu sauce on top. This is a bright, light, fresh roll that made my mouth particularly happy after partaking in some of the other, spicier rolls.
Speaking of which, if you find yourself at Oishii, you would be remiss if you didn’t try on the mildly spicy On the Border roll for size. This shrimp tempura roll is topped with salmon and then dressed with pico de gallo. I completely loved the marriage of Japanese and Mexican food flavors, as well as the buttery-ness of the salmon matched with the bite of the pico.
Another roll not to be missed is the Donut Roll. This baby has spicy shrimp inside, a layer of avocado, a layer of tuna, and then barbecue eel sauce and spicy mayo to finish. I’m not sure I quite get the explanation. But Nguyen tells me that a friend told him that the roll was, "So good I couldn't stop. So it has to be the donut roll." Go figure.
My last new go-to roll is the Tribeca Roll, which is soy paper and sticky rice layered with truffle oil, seasoned salmon, shrimp flake, and avocado dipped in spicy mayo, eel sauce, and olive oil. It sounds like a lot, but it really is just right, a surprising balance of flavors and textures.
If you’re looking to add a few hot dishes to the mix, the pot stickers and shaken beef are not to be missed. The former have a light, tasty, chicken filling and come with a sweet soy dipping sauce, and the latter is sautéed with scallions and onions in a special garlic sauce, which made it very hard to stop at just a taste.
It was a sad time for Oishii and Oishii lovers alike when fire and disaster struck. But sushi lovers have a reason to rejoice again. The doors are open and Oishii is rolling out the rolls as if nothing ever happened. My kind of place!