There’s something wonderfully crave-able about sushi. Sushi can be as simple as a few proteins wrapped in some gloriously sticky, vinegary sushi rice, or as complex as a roll with multiple meat-and-fish combinations and complimentary sauces. Saké, the heady Japanese brewed rice wine is as versatile as vodka or whisky –– sip it by itself or blend it into a cocktail.
Here are nine restaurants in Fort Worth where you can enjoy sushi, saké or both!
Blue Sushi Sake Grill
Blue Sushi Sake Grill offers a great happy hour: Monday through Saturday from 3-6:30 p.m. and all day Sunday. Selected sushi rolls will run you less than $6 and drink specials are plentiful. The restaurant has a plethora of traditional rolls (including several kinds of tuna, mackerel and salmon), but an equally interesting assortment of vegetarian and vegan roll options as well. And on Saké Tuesdays, bottles of the good stuff are half-off.
Hatsuyuki Handroll Bar
Hatsuyuki Handroll Bar is resolutely purist. The newest sushi joint in town doesn’t offer a Cali roll or any fried, tempura-dipped protein. There’s no creamy mayo-based sauces, just the fish, the rice and nori so crisp it almost bites you back. The menu offers a selection of combination hand rolls if you don’t know what you want, or if you want to sample several of the menu options. But what’s on the specials board really deserves your attention, too. The affable staff will help you pick out the best of what’s available if you find yourself bewildered by the many choices.
Although it’s not strictly a sushi joint, Kona Grill’s sushi menu is respectable, with cold and hot rolls, and a few rolls wrapped in cucumber if you’re watching your carbs. If you’re a saké newbie, you can try a saké flight (five, two-ounce pours), saké sangria or the saké version of a beer-rita with Kirin. All of this goodness is discounted during happy hour (weekdays 3-6 p.m. and all day Sunday).
Little Lilly Sushi
Tucked into a strip of restaurants on Camp Bowie Boulevard, Little Lilly Sushi’s menu is almost overwhelming with the sheer number and combination of sushi, sashimi (the plain protein with a delicate garnish of veggies, which doesn’t include rice), and specialty roll choices. This is one of the few restaurants I’d be totally comfortable with trying the chef’s choice sampler –– the quality of the fish is so good I’d bet that anything the chef makes would taste delicious.
Piranha Killer Sushi
I remember doing a little happy dance when Piranha Killer Sushi opened in Sundance Square over a decade ago. The sushi and sashimi are impeccably fresh and beautifully plated. Their signature roll menu features over two dozen rolls with ingredients like lobster, truffle oil and crawfish. A dozen saké options will get you sampling and appreciating the fine differences between the various brands.
Shinjuku Station’s relatively exotic menu includes sushi, sashimi and nigiri (sliced fish atop a small mound of rice). In addition to the traditional seafood and shellfish options, sample Spanish anchovy, duck liver, and a miso-cured salmon roll with pistachio, crisp pear and microgreens. The restaurant has an extensive list of Japanese beer on tap and in bottles, and perhaps the largest saké menu in town, along with a few Japanese whisky options and shochu, Japan’s answer to vodka.
At Tokyo Café, ebullient chef Kevin Martinez’s menu lists over a dozen specialty rolls, including a lobster roll wrapped in soy paper. Another dozen classic rolls (Cali, veggie, Philadelphia and more) and a sushi bar offering octopus, Japanese snapper, unagi and uzura (quail eggs) among the traditional, scrupulously fresh raw fish complete the very attractive picture.
Ume Sushi & Korean BBQ
The quirky Ume Sushi & Korean BBQ sits in a strip mall in southwest Fort Worth near Cityview. You will find sushi –– both classic and exotic, like the Kim bop and bulgogi rolls. Sashimi options include an oddly delicious Korean sashimi bowl (sashimi topped with spicy Korean sauce atop lettuce). Ume’s a fun place to go with someone who isn’t crazy about raw fish: the menu is full of other options and the location offers plentiful parking.
Zenna is a newer entry into the Fort Worth sushi market. The restaurant has more different types of sushi rolls than anyone could eat in a month. During happy hour (until 7 p.m. daily), select sashimi is $1.25 apiece and select rolls hover around $3 each. For the indecisive, there are several sizes of sashimi and nigiri combos, to allow a sampling of different flavors. And Zenna provides something of a community service: the restaurant is open until 3 a.m. daily, which definitely caters to the late-night crowd on and near Crockett Row after the bars close.