Austin Sushi News

Sushi news in and around Austin, Texas

Japanese Fun Foods

Sushi News: 

Japanese "fun" foods are all the rage these days. They are considerably cheaper and generally easier to make than sushi, yet still retain that special Japanese flavor.  A few weeks ago, Osaka Soul opened, selling okonomiyaki (a sort of hybrid pizza/pancake) out of a trailer in the South First Food Court at 603 W. Live Oak. There is also Afin (owned by the same folks who own Beluga) where you can get Japanese Tapas (izakaya - basically, Japanese pub food). Finally, there's yet another food trailer, the Love Ball Bus, at the Eastside Drive-in selling takoyaki (pancake balls filled with octopus and other goodness).

Sashimi Grade Launches

Sushi News: 

It's never hard to find sushi in Austin as long as your tastes run to the perfunctory, but if you're a sushi bar looking to offer more esoteric items such as katsuo (bonito), kanpachi (amberjack), remora, scorpion fish, african pompano, triggerfish, or shako ebi (mantis shrimp), you might want to give Sashimi Grade a call.
Sashimi Grade
Sashimi Grade is an artisan seafood supplier operating out of Corpus Christi. Their "sustainable" seafood is poll-and-line or troll caught and is "super frozen" at -76 F to ensure the freshest possible result. They often catch such small quantities that they will never advertise them, but only offer them to their select sushi bar customers. They are currently catching fish from the Gulf of Mexico, but hope to be bringing in fish from the Pacific soon. Interested sushi bars should contact them. Need convincing? Download their presentation (PDF format).

Maki Changes Name, Franchises

Sushi News: 

Our favorite roll-your-own sushi place had to change their name from "Maki" to "How Do You Roll" for copyright reasons. They also are offering franchises and have a Twitter feed. Read all about it on their new blog.

Their new downtown location, at 454 W 2nd Street, is now set to open in mid-April.

The New, The Old, The ASS

Sushi News: 

Long ago, there was an Austin Sushi Society (ASS). It was a rather hoighty-toighty affair that was never directly associated with this web site. As far as I knew, the ASS didn't last very long. In fact, I think it petered out within a year or so of its creation. But I was wrong. The ASS persists, and, today, it still regularly meets on most first Wednesdays of each month. Holly Jackson still runs the ASS and you can get on her Evite mailing list by sending her an email at: howdyholly [at]

Any yet, there's a new ASS in town, and it's called the ASK - Austin Sushi Club (better than "ASC", right?). The full name is the "Young Professionals Austin Sushi Club" which means that its primary demographic is people with enough free cash to spend on sushi.

Once again, they aren't associated with this web site, but we, as usual, wholly endorse the consumption of el pescado crudo. Join them at:


Sushi News: 

Yanagi might have been just another nice strip-mall sushi bar in South Austin, but what sets them apart is, well, friendliness. On a recent visit, everyone was so nice that I thought we had walked into the wrong place. Warm holiday fuzzies all around.....

4404 W William Cannon Dr
Austin, Texas 78749
(512) 891-0989

New and Not-So-New

Sushi News: 

We've been busy for a while, and a few sushi bars have inadvertantly escaped our attention. Here's a quick rundown:

Sushi Den - way up North on Lamar.

Haiku - way South at I-35 and Slaughter Lane.

Ryu of Japan - way up on Burnet Road.

Oishi - Japanese fusion in the Dobie Mall.

Summer Spike For Sushi

Sushi News: 

I've been waiting weeks, nay, months to bring my dear Austin Sushi readers a depressing tale of woe -- some fallout from the Great Recession. Perhaps it would be news of a sushi establishment on the verge of bankruptcy or a drunken sushi chef inadvertently hit by a car.

Instead, I'm sad to report that this is one of the biggest single sushi months that Austin has seen in a long time, and the rest of the summer hasn't been too shabby either.Piranha Sushi opens their first Austin location at 207 San Jacinto in "mid-August". You can keep calling them at (512) 473-8775 until they tell you when.

As mentioned in the article below, San Antonio-based Sushi Zushi opened their first Austin location at 1611 W. 5th Street, Suite 105 (just east of Mopac in the "5th Street Commons").

Proving that sushi comes in many styles and places, the folks at Deli Bento opened Austin's first sushi trailer, Sushi-A-Go-Go in July.

And finally, we don't want to overlook Simon's Sushi which has opened sushi joints in Barton Creek Mall, Highland Mall, and Lakeline Mall. They appear to be expanding service at their Barton Creek Mall location.

¡Mucho Pescado Crudo!

Sushi News: 

"Choice" was the rule as the team descended on Sushi Zushi Monday night. With waiters sporting "Sushi is Going Weird" t-shirts (a riff on the "Keep Austin Weird" non-slogan), the sushi bar seemed upbeat. This is the 6th location for the San Antonio-based sushi bar chain and the 1st Austin location (4 San Antonio locations and 1 in Dallas).

Awesome New Karaoke Coming

Sushi News: 

In case you haven't heard, the old 14,000 square foot Salvation Army location in the Lamar Plaza shopping center (home of the Alamo Drafthouse South Lamar) will soon become The Palace, complete with retro bowling alley and extensive karaoke facilities. From the recent Austin Chronicle article:

[Alamo Creative Director] Henri Mazza and I [Alamo owner Tim League] are both absolutely obsessed with karaoke, and I promise you we are going to have the most badass private karaoke rooms in town. Each of the rooms will be themed to a different style of music, so there'll be a punk room, a metal room, what have you, all of them with a superhuge song selection.

In Austin, Sushi Is Still A Bull

Sushi News: 

You can tell by my hip use of jargon (e.g. "Bull") that I've got a freshly minted business degree of some sort and am preparing to create a publicly traded company that will eventually tailspin itself into a nugatory enterprise. Yes, nugatory.

Until then, we can all count on one thing: more sushi in Austin. Case in point: a recent memo from the owners of swanky Piranha Sushi indicating that they are moving full throttle on their new 207 San Jacinto location. They even have a help-wanted Craigslist ad (screen capture). Estimated opening: end of Summer, 2009.

There are also details now on the prophesized North Austin Uchi location. It will be named Uchiko and will reside in the old Seton Medical building at 4200 N. Lamar which will be remodeled by Michael Hsu. Estimated opening: Spring, 2010.

Austin is selling sushi at both the top and bottom ends of the price spectrum, but the pricey sushi bars are clearly being fueled by the wave of immigrants that came to Austin in the past 3-4 years (especially last year when census reports show that Austin was the #1 or #2 fastest-growing metro area in the country, depending on how you slice the stats). By immigrants, of course, I mean Californians who have sold their over-priced real estate and are now sitting on too much extra cash.