Plano has a new Japanese restaurant that aims to be both authentic and high-end. Called Wa Kubota, it's the brainchild of Kaoru Kubota, who owns the largest distributor of American sporting goods in Japan. Kubota's goal is to introduce traditional Japanese food in an upscale setting, with sushi bar, private room seating, large patio, and cocktail bar.
To fulfill his goal of authenticity, Kubota brought in a chef from Japan.
"We wanted to bring a traditional, authentic Japanese restaurant to this market that gives customers a distinctive and exceptional dining experience," Kubota says in a release. "I brought my favorite sushi chef, Mr. Masato Yasaki, from Osaka, Japan, to train all future Wa Kubota chefs. When customers step into Wa Kubota, we want them to feel like they've traveled to Japan."
The restaurant is located at Parkwood 121 Village, at the southeast quadrant of SH 121 and Parkwood Drive, south of the Container Store and west of Preston Road. Greg Pierce from CBRE, representing Parkwood 121 Village, says that the restaurant will serve the neighborhood's changing demographics.
"Mr. Kubota has personal ties with executives from several Japanese corporations that are relocating to DFW and when they expressed interest in having a traditional Japanese restaurant in the area, he jumped at the opportunity," Pierce says. "The existing market demographics, along with recent major corporate relocations like Toyota, made Parkwood 121 Village the ideal location to launch this restaurant concept."
To celebrate its opening, they held a traditional Japanese ceremony that drew attendees such as Tetsuro Amano, of the Consulate-General of Japan in Houston.
Distinctive dishes include miso-roasted eggplant — a whole eggplant, scored into bites, roasted until brown, then dabbed with miso sauce, and served still in its jacket; and a "cold tofu," a warm-weather dish with firm squares of tofu topped with katsuobushi, scallions, grated ginger, and soy sauce. Appetizers include tuna yamakake, an Osaka specialty in which sashimi is partnered with a grated soft yam which creates a viscous sauce favored by the Japanese.
Their fried spring roll has an unusual flavor profile, with avocado and Camembert cheese.
An authentic Japanese grill is used to grill meats over charcoal, such as chicken thigh and Japanese Wagyu served ishiyaki-style, sliced extra thin. There are soba and udon noodles, served hot or cold. They also have a full bar and wine list, which includes Japanese whiskies and an impressive selection of sake in bottles and by the glass.
They occasionally post specials on their Facebook page, such as kampachi carpaccio with Japanese citrus truffle oil, garlic chips, and micro greens; and a stunning dessert called matcha mont blanc, an Asian twist on the European classic, with a mountain of green tea cream, piped symmetrically in narrow squiggles onto a base of sponge cake.