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Austin Sushi News #34, June 2004

Daniel Welcome to Austin Sushi News, a friendly by-product of the sushi website for Austin, Texas, Once every month or so, we bring you the latest scoop on sushi bars and related matters in Austin, Texas. You can UNsubscribe at any time by sending email to Subscribe by going to and clicking on the mailing list icon. If you have any problems, please send email to


Zzzzzzzzz - huh? More New Sushi Bars....<yawn>

I blinked and two more sushi bars showed up. It's that simple. The economy is in the toilet, but the sushi marketing steamroller continues, paving over more venues in your neighborhood.

Case in point, that abandoned Kentucky Fried Chicken on N. Lamar. It's now Banzai Sushi and Grill. By the looks of the interior, it won't open for another month or so.

A more promising venue is taking shape on the Northbound frontage road of I-35 (take the St. Johns exit) in the old Bevos/Besos location. Sushi Japon (sic) will occupy the 5500 square foot building which is being extensively remodeled and is already looking pretty good. The owner predicts a June 23rd opening date.

Banzai Sushi And Grill
Corner of 39 1/2 Street and N. Lamar
Austin, Texas
(512) ???-????

Sushi Japon
6801 North I-35
Austin, Texas 78752
(512) 323-6663

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Austin Chronicle 2004 Restaurant Poll

It's that time of the year again -- the time when interested Austinites get together and stuff the ballot box for the 2004 Austin Chronicle Restaurant Poll. And, some underpaid stoners get to pimp their favorite venues in the Chronicle's Critics' Poll. The good news this year is that I kinda agree with some of the results.

Uchi swept both the people's and critics' polls, garnering best sushi and best Japanese in both polls, and registering seventh in the people's top 35 favorites restaurant category (and the only sushi bar to make any of the 35 slots). Uchi also topped the critics' list of best seafood dish (watermelon and tuna sashimi), and best new restaurant in 2003.

Musashino still has great sushi, of course, but maybe Smokey (the owner) will get a clue and upgrade his Trader Vic-esque decor to something that complements his sushi a bit more. (If you're not getting the Trader Vic's reference, have a look around their web site)tuna sashimi

Other placings of note include Finn and Porter's $1 sushi happy hour as a Critic's Bargain Dish; Korea Garden for Reader's Happy Hour/Cheap or Free Deal; Oishi Sushi House for Critic's Buffet; Origami for Critic's Sushi; and Suzi's China Grill and Sushi Bar for Critic's Sushi.

Click Here For Full Restaurant Poll Results

And speaking of ballot stuffing, there's still time to m*sturbate --er, I mean mouse-click your vote for best sushi bar in the much more pointless Best Of Citysearch 2004.

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The Zen Of Faster Japanese Food

Zen Japanese Food Fast has opened a third location at 32nd and Guadalupe. What can I say about Zen except that tuna sashimitheir sushi sucks. I gently tell them this nearly every time I eat there, which is sometimes as often as once a week. It's ok to fill a bowl 2/3 with rice and then cover the top with other stuff, but it's not ok to make sushi rolls that are 1/2, or maybe even 2/3, rice -- especially when the sushi rice has that somewhat dry, chalky, texture that says: I've been sitting around in a display case all day. So, I never eat their sushi. Of course, they aren't claiming to be a sushi bar and that's one thing I really like about them -- they deliver what they advertise. I like their various rice bowls and I like the way they season their store-bought soba noodles. It's fast and it's inexpensive.

Zen Japanese Food Fast
3423 N. Guadalupe Avenue
Austin, Texas
(512) 300-2633

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