What's Up With Maru On Burnet?


Does anyone out there know what's up with a possible new Japanese restaurant on Burnet, just across from the new Sampaio, north of 45th Street? That location used to be a Chinese restaurant that never seemed to have any customers. There's a big sign that says "Maru Japanese Restaurant" up, but construction seems to be taking forever. Rumors, gossip, or actual factual information welcome.

by david.yu on Sun, 2006-07-23 18:08
My wife and I noticed it was finally open last night (we drive by it on the way to work every day). The Grand Opening was on Friday and the time we went, there were few people in the restaurant, but the sushi (and the seafood salad) was excellent. The chef is from San Diego and apparently they moved here just to open Maru. Granted, we were there just after they opened so everything was very fresh, however we plan on returning this week to see if this place is a keeper.

by hooliganyouth on Mon, 2006-08-07 15:58
My girlfriend and I stopped by about a week ago after work. The place only had a few patrons but the atmosphere was very pleasant and almost home-y. The food across the board was solid - the miso, seaweed salad, and calamari tempura. The tempura wasn't tentacles which threw me off, just in long strips, which threw me off a bit but they were tasty and perfectly battered and fried. The specialty rolls we got were enormous and very tasty indeed - The Tiger roll and the J-Bomb. The J-Bomb had slices of fresh jalapeno in the roll and that made me very happy. I am looking forward to sitting at the bar and eating my weight in sushi. I have the feeling that Maru really excels with its' bento lunch specials. The atmosphere and style of the dinner makes me think that their bento will have a "home made" appeal to it. We really dug Maru because it wasn't hip or see and be seen while drinking pomegranate martinis. I love Uchi as much as anyone but sometimes I just want to go and have some soba and a roll and not have to worry about how I look or how I will pay the rent after eating there.

by Vette on Sat, 2006-08-12 19:05
My boyfriend and I went for dinner Friday night around 6:30 and the place was a little over half full. The setting is comfortable. Not fussy at all, but very nice and clean. The service was wonderful. We had edamame, 6 pieces of sushi, 1 spicy tuna roll, and 1 order of the stuffed mushroom. (+2 waters) = $35.35 bill. The fish was delicious and the rice to fish ratio was perfect. The spicy tuna was just like I like it, nice and spicy. The stuffed mushroom was melt in your mouth heaven and I was surprised how big the portion was. It consisted of a mushroom, spicy tuna, and (imitation) crab all fried and place on a plate covered with two delicious sauces. We will definitely go back soon. Next time I'm going to try the J-Bomb... fried jalapeno with cream cheese and spicy tuna.

by sequitur on Sat, 2006-08-19 09:19
My wife and I tried Maru last night (Friday). Her name is also Maru, so it was a must. We found out that Maru means "circle" in Japanese, but are still unsure why the name is mostly associated witrh Japanese ships. The restaurant was at capacity, and with the limited wait staff and 1 sushi chef, service was quite slow. It was slow enough that they passed out complimentary bolws of miso soup (very good) and house salads (I've had better). These things work themselves out as the restaurant finds its legs, so I have no complaints at this time. The seaweed salad was very good. We probably could have gotten by on 1 to share since it was a sizeable amount. No complaints though! The three rolls we ordered were great. Each roll had ample amounts of fish, crab or shrimp, and was not overstuffed with rice or other fillers. I should have written down the names - sorry! On the menu, they are all next to each other. I think Hawaiian, Kanikama & Love(?) were the ones... Anyways, the 3rd one (the name I don't remember) was incredible. It's an inside out roll, with spicy tuna on the inside and sliced tuna on the outside. It has a wonderful, but light sauce drizzled over it (maybe soy sauce based?). Better yet, rolls are around $8.50 each, which I think is a very decent price. They do not have their beer license yet, so several people were BYOB. I was the fortunate recipient of a miracle beer from the gentleman at the table next to us. Only in Austin would you be at a new sushi restaurant and be given a beer from the guy with a cooler at the next table. Kindness abounds! The license is "on its way" and beer, wine & sake are already printed on the menu. Service overall was very pleasant, with a kind waiter and waitress both working the room. As I mentioned earlier, more stuff will likely be on the way once they establish a pattern of patrons. One last item- I would defintiely go there for lunch with the inexpensive (yet sizeable) bento boxes & noodle bowls.

by Austin Realtor on Fri, 2007-06-15 17:29
We were going there about once/week for a while, but haven't been in a few weeks. Actually, I think we'll go back tonight. Bottom line, food's really good, and you can BYOB, so the bill usually ends up really light. The atmosphere leaves a bit to be desired, but the staff more than makes up for that.