Sunday, September 05, 2010

Mr. Kang bangs a gong

What do black walls, free house-rolls, and Japanese traditional songs played on a 1960's French synthesizer have in common?

You can get them all Sushi World!

All the bars had closed and we were hungry. I had passed Sushi World multiple times and remembered it was open 24-hours. We decided to give it a shot.

The oddity of this place has been noticed by others. They aren't exaggerating. Place is straight-up weird.

It's made more weird after a night of drinking.


The decor is an unsettling black-on-black with large paper lanterns strategically placed under each ceiling fan. There are black plywood barriers between the rows of tables that look like leftovers from a high-school production of "Our Town". There are piles of rice bags, packages of noodles, and take-out containers everywhere. There's even a private room to one side where you're just sure nothing good ever happened. By the bar, there's a TV playing loop of a man making sushi and fried delights. Everyone in a paper-hat is abnormally tall and has a long, Akhanten-style face.

And the music. Oh, the music. At first, it's just amusing. Then, the next song comes on and you wonder if you're in some kind of video game. As it goes on, you're suddenly reminded of an ancient relative's electric organ (or if you're old enough, you remember the Hammond store at the mall).

Service was a little strange in the middle of the night and Brian and I had long stretches where we wondered what had happened to the waitress. Our waitress spoke mostly in monosyllabic grunts, but with an uncanny werewolf smile.

Brian had the fried yaki udon ($12) with an order of spicy tuna rolls ($8) and a side of kimchee ($3). The udon bowl is the size of your face and there were five shrimp in there (heads and all). I think there were ten slices of the spicy tuna.

I had the grilled beef teriyaki bento ($17), which is an insane amount of food. Besides the grilled beef teriyaki (with cabbage), there is also a pad of fried rice 10cm in diameter, four fried gyoza, a small salad with a ginger vinaigrette, a bowl of miso soup, and six sushi rolls (krab and avocado with tempura crispies and spicy sauce). I was unable to finish it.

These house rolls are fantastic and are also served up as a lagniappe when you order. You will not need to dip them in anything, as the coating (a siriracha/mayo concoction) is flavor enough.

An added bonus is orders between 1 and 10 am are 20% off.

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Now, I was going to just write this review yesterday afternoon and leave it at that, but I went back the next day with Dan and Ed. I had suggested is as a place to fuel up before we headed into the con.

If you go during the day, it's a completely different experience, service-wise.

While deciding what to get, Ed mentioned that he was "definitely" going to come back for Christmas dinner, because you can get a free "sushi-cake" on your birthday. The waiter joked with us a bit about it, thinking no one could be so unlucky as to have a birthday on Christmas. Ed showed him his ID.

Queue the magic:

Mr. Kang--owner of the restaurant, master sushi chef, author of two books on making sushi, recipient of an honor from the 30th Congressional district and the city of Bedford, and veteran with a military medal from the president of South Korea--came out and fist-bumped everyone at the table, asked Ed his name, and then sang him "Happy Birthday" on the karaoke machine. And then there were two free bottles of sake on the table.

Everything was wonderful, the food was great, and the music was still bizarre. I cannot recommend this place enough. If you come into the DFW area for another con, and you're in downtown Dallas, get your ass over there. If you happen to live in Dallas and have guests coming in, take them there. If you live in downtown Dallas, you can go there to buy noodles and sauces (and lovely lacquered bento boxes).

And if you see Mr. Kang, prepare for a fist-bump.

1 comment:

Tohoscope said...

Between the atmosphere and the food I can't recommend Sushi World enough. In fact, I can't think of a restaurant I've enjoyed as much as Sushi World.