Austin Sushi News

Sushi news in and around Austin, Texas

More Turnover, Less Filling

Sushi News: 

The boom years of Austin's sushi establishment are clearly waning as sushi bars close and turn ownership faster than you can say sabinuki. Just over the past few months, Austin's sushi landscape has both eroded and propogated with aplomb. A quick summary:

1) A new Suzi's China Grill ( ) (with sushi bar) opened on Bee Caves road just a half mile or so West of Mopac.

Suzi's China Grill
2745 Bee Caves Rd
(512) 347-7077

2) Kaprow Leaf ( ), an Asian fusion place that has a sushi bar, opened up on Howard Lane. Preliminary reports are good and you can even read their chef's blog which has quaint entries like "Now we open on Saturday and Sunday at 11am."

Uchi Changes Name, Adds Services

Sushi News: 

In a surprise move, Uchi has changed its name to Ouchie and added a minor emergency station just to the right of their sushi bar. "It's a natural evolution from merely serving sushi," says one Uchi partner who prefers to remain anonymous.

Uchi Presents Rashomon

Sushi News: 

It's sold out! ( ) -- the Alamo Drafthouse Cinema blowout on Wednesday, March 9th, at 7pm. This is the gig of the century for lovers of fine Japanese food and cinema.

Whilst enjoying the brand new Alamo South Lamar Theatre (yappari!), with its stadium seating and state-of-the-art sound and visuals, you'll feast your eyes and ears on a restored 35mm print of Rashomon, the landmark film by Akira Kurosawa that won the 1950 Academy Award for Best Foreign Film.

Meanwhile, at certain times during the movie, you'll be treated to a novel banquet course courtesy of Austin's uber sushi bar, Uchi ( ). Are you going? Mochiron! Proceeds from the event benefit the Capital Area Food Bank ( )

Countdown to Maiko

Sushi News: 

The third downtown sushi venue (after Kenichi and Uchi) in the short pantheon of recent high-budget sushi bar openings, Maiko brings its own style and spin to the enlightened activity of seafood manipulation.

Designed by Michael Hsu, under the auspices of Dick Clark Architecture (Hsu's solo projects include Oslo and Uchi), Maiko will have both a contemporary Japanese sushi bar on one side, and a full booze bar on the other side (separated by a wall) with the potential for late-nite DJ action on the bar side. We've got the artist rendering of the sushi side here and the bar side here.

The food offerings will lean heavily toward contemporary Japanese cooking as opposed to fusion, according to Maiko's sushi consultant Seiju Onami. The main difference being that the vast majority of ingredients in contemporary Japanese cooking are, well, Japanese ingredients. As an example, Onami notes that a fusion-style risotto would typically use cream and arboreal rice while a contemporary Japanese version would use soy milk and koshi hikari (a sweet short-grained rice).

Badass Bim Bab Not In Bubbaland

Sushi News: 

If you haven't noticed the brand spanking new shopping center near the corner of North Lamar Boulevard and Justin Lane, then perhaps you are not Korean. The stately shopping complex features a massive Asian market, liquor store, burger joint, billiard parlor, and state-of-the-art karaoke rental suites. And, by the way, they are all Korean-owned. The billiard parlor, karaoke suites, and Asian food store are open right now. Where else in Austin can you and your friends rent a private, soundproof, karaoke room, comfortably outfitted with high-tech audio and video, at 3am!!!!!! And BYOB!

Austin Karaoke

Khronicle Kudos

Sushi News: 

The kudos have been pouring in thanks to our huge splash ( ) in the November 5th edition of the Austin Chronicle. We are thankful that the Chronicle's Food Goddess, Virginia Wood, has not completely forsaken us. Still, the Chron's "not" stoner editorial folks have never quite been able to pimp us without misspelling a name or mangling a link. This time, they got it all right except for calling us the "Austin Sushi Group". Where did that come from? It's certainly not on the site anywhere. Uh, I think the site is

Sandy And Etc.....

Sushi News: 

Rumours are flying that Sandra Bullock may be in on a new Austin sushi concession. She's recently been spotted at several Austin sushi establishments with current beau Jesse James, and apparently asked a few questions. Of course, since Sandy and I are very tight, I can say unequivocally that she definitely is helping to open a new sushi bar in Austin. But, I can't say anything more because it's all too dramatic and she'd totally kill me if I said anything else.

In other news, Eat & Drink Magazine, a new slick color magazine, launched it's first issue. They have pretty color photos of food and the magazine is free.

Maiko Is Coming And....

Sushi News: 

Maiko is now officially under construction at 311 W. Sixth Street, former home of Demi Epicurious, and spitting distance from Kenichi. Houston restaurateur Larry Chen, who opened Kobe and Hido in Houston, plans to open Maiko in late November according to this story from the Statesman. Dick Clark Architecture (they also designed Kenichi) will be helming the remodel.

My open letter to Chronicle Food Editor, Virginia Wood, has had little effect on our currently chilled relationship (the letter is here ( )). But not to worry, the friendly staff of Austin Sushi News is planning an all-out frontal assault to fight terrorism and win Virginia back into the fold!

Asahi Imports Moves

Sushi News: 

As of July 31st, our favorite Japanese grocery store, Asahi Imports, has moved from its hidden location on North Loop to a more prominent storefront at the Northeast corner of Burnet Road and Koenig Lane. It appears to have more fresh produce and packaged foods, while having somewhat less kitchen utensils and knick-knacks. Still, the same friendly service and, of course, fresh shiso!!!!

Asahi Imports
6105 Burnet Road
Austin, Texas 78757
(512) 453-1850

Underpaid Stoners....??!!

Sushi News: 

Gentle Austin Sushi News Readers,

Your humble scribe hath spoketh beyond the pale and received a good tongue lashing for his efforts by none other than the Austin Chronicle's top culinary exponent, Virginia Wood. Aye, I was a bit hasty when I scribeth, "underpaid stoners," to describe the mild-mannered souls who created the 2004 Chronicle's Critic's Restaurant Poll.

According to Virginia (who is a trained pastry chef with two college degrees, 25 years experience working in restaurants and other food businesses as well as 11 years of experience at the Chronicle), there are six contributing writers to the Chronicle's Critic's Poll. Four are trained chefs; two have published well-received books in the food and wine field; three have advanced degrees; and several of them contribute work to publications in addition to the Chronicle. And, as far as she knows, none of them is a stoner.