Dallas Voice (Dallas, Tex.), Vol. 20, No. 45, Ed. 1 Friday, March 12, 2004 Page: 46 of 72
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House of the rising sushi
Sapporo, Oak Lawn's newest Asian eatery, soars with freshness and style
Great sushi thrives on fresh seafood, and the fish at Sapporo — including the shrimp, squid, tuna and roe —fit the bill.
By Arnold Wayne Jones Staff Writer
Too often, ethnic-food restaurants shy away
from being one thing. They like to hedge their
bets, offering multiple cuisines under one banner:
Pan-Asian rather than just Vietnamese!
Mediterranean instead of straight Greek;
Mexican-Latin American when Honduran alone
would be great. When I find a true specialty
restaurant, one that sticks to its basic mission, I
You can't really call Sushi Sapporo fusion
cooking, but neither is it traditional to the point of
stagnation. The new Oak Lawn eatery carefully
infuses a hint of American influence on its con-
temporary Japanese fare without betraying its
roots. The tempura, for instance, includes the
expected ingredients (giant shrimp, onion, yam),
but throws in a jalapeno and red pepper for good
measure. The signature rolled sushi includes
California and tuna rolls, but also an oversized
fiitomaki called Bourbon Street — a combination
of crawfish, smelt roe and sprouts drizzled with a
Cajun-spiced sauce that packs a little kick with-
out wasabi. It's an evolved style, neither trendy
Sapporo's impressive full-service menu is one
of its chief draws. You can begin by ordering
edamame ($4), such a staple of Japanese dining
that our waitress asked if we wanted a bowl
almost before we had taken our seats. It's nearly
impossible to ruin — or distinguish — steamed
soybean pods dusted with sea salt, but it's part of
a routine that puts you in the mood for the cuisine
The menu is divided into several principle cat-
egories: Sushi and sashimi (raw fish), assorted
cooked Japanese dishes and noodle bowls. If you
can't decide, let the chef do if for you by order-
ing one of the five fixed-meal specials, each with
a different theme.
The tempura tei dinner ($26) which may be
the best bargain in sushi you'll ever find: Eight
complete courses, and each one better than the
last. (The menu says six, but that doesn't count
the salad and soup.) The main entree is supposed
to be tempura — a mix of flash fried vegetables
and shrimp — but the sheer quantity of food
makes it merely first among equals.
Japanese salads tend to be modest creations
(lettuce, perhaps a cherry tomato and a sweet
dressing), and this is no exception. But if you
think all miso soups are interchangeable, think
again. The chewy nori (seaweed) and subtly-
spiced broth exceed expectations.
The appetizer selections vary depending on
availability and the chef's own mood that night,
and we ended up with three amuses-bouches:
Pickled squid, cucumber with sprouts and whole
baby octopi. Two of these are hardcore delicacies
that won't suit every palate, but the freshness was
undeniable and the preparation perfect.
Following the tempura with sticky rice, we
were treated to several large slices of sashimi —
salmon, sea bass, squid and toro (fatty tuna). The
fish was accompanied by a bowl of cold buck-
wheat soba noodles. The final selection from the
main courses was probably the best: Cooked
black cod, sprinkled with seaweed confetti. It's a
fish dish that could win over even those who
don't like seafood, so sweet and buttery that it
tastes more like fried plantain than fish. Green tea
ice cream concluded the dinner.
Even those who don't like raw fish will have
no problem finding something on the menu
worth their attention. Yakitori are food skewers
grilled in a teriyaki sauce: the chicken breast
($4.50) was rich and delicious. Koroke are
Japanese croquettes. We tried the kani ($9.95), a
creamed crab meat that was the only item to
The decor is minimalistic but elegant, with a
long, winding sushi bar on one side, a wet bar in
the middle and a koi pond in the entryway. The
service was as good as the food and atmosphere.
Everyone from our hostess to our waitress to the
busboy was attentive and friendly. Sometimes a
great staff can make a dining experience succeed
even when the food is only so-so. Sapporo is
lucky enough to have all the elements come
Sushi Sapporo, 3211 Oak Lawn, if A. Open for
lunch, dinner and late night on weekends. 214-
Sushi depends on freshness, and Sapporo
keeps its menu flexible to provide the best ingre-
On low-key nights, George Michael and
Madonna play inobtrusively, but it can hop with
The entire staff was perpetually gracious and
Price: Moderate to expensive
■Sushi is rarely cheap, but the dinner portions
will more than satify your appetite without break-
ing the bank.
C IU DAD
© c <a y ©I!®
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Cafe (Dexicano y Taquena
THE LORD OF THE QUEENS
La Nueva Cocina
TACOS TO DINE FOR. $4.00
Fish - Goat - Pork - Chicken
$1.50 BEER. AND SANGRIA
Domestic/Import - Red/White
$25.00 FOR TWO PEOPLE
Wine by the Glass Specials All Night!
Sunday II am to 2 pm
Most Entrees under $10!
$1 FROZEN MARGARITAS
3888 Oak Lawn Ave., One Turtle Creek #135,214-219-3141
SUNDAY • LUNCH • DINNER
BRUNCH MON-FRI WED-SAT
All Wines By The Glass $3.00
$1.50 Frozen Margaritas
(Limit 3 per person)
$2.00 All Bottled Beer
LUNCH ITEMS FROM $1.99 TO $8.00
3I02 Main St. in the Heart of Downtown, 2I4-742-7777
Half Price Food All Night (no coupons please!)
50C Margaritas S2.50 All Fruit
Flavored Margaritas with entree (no coupons!)
S3.75 Frozen Margaritas All Tex-Mex Enchilada Plates S4.50
Live Latin Jazz with Carlos Guedes
Salsa with "Latin Fire"
Most Entrees $4.99
Sat. & Sun. 10-3
Most Entrees $4.99 - Brunch Cocktails $2.50
2914 Main St. Deep Ellum, 214-748-7140
46 I dallasvoice.com I 03.12.04
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Vercher, Dennis. Dallas Voice (Dallas, Tex.), Vol. 20, No. 45, Ed. 1 Friday, March 12, 2004, newspaper, March 12, 2004; Dallas, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth238885/m1/46/: accessed August 22, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Special Collections.