A newly opened restaurant called Uni Sushi gives downtown Plano something it has never had: late-night sushi rolls from a chef whose credentials include well-rated sushi restaurants such as Little Katana, Geisha House and Densetsu.
Uni has taken over the space on Avenue K vacated by sweet Japanese restaurant Kinoko, next-door to Brix Bar & Grill. TK Kang, who is helping manage the restaurant, says he feels optimistic about the space despite Kinoko's demise.
"People have told us that they had limited hours, so that may have been a disadvantage for them," he says. "We know that this space has seen a few restaurants come and go, but we try not to think about what's been here before.
"From our standpoint, we'll do our best and hope for the best. The area gets a lot of traffic, so as long as we stick to what we do best and try to maintain some good visibility, it's worth a shot."
The menu includes sushi as well as Korean specialties such as bulgogi (grilled beef) and bibimbap, the homey rice dish. Appetizers include basics like edamame, dumplings and tempura, and there is a selection of noodle dishes. They also do a twist on poke, the marinated raw fish dish, which they season with garlic and ponzu.
"But our main focus is the sushi rolls," TK says. "Fortunately a few of the people who have come by told us that this was the type of place they wanted here, that there hasn't been a Japanese restaurant that's convenient to the downtown Plano community."
The space still has many of Kinoko's sleek hand-built touches, although the barrier has been knocked between the kitchen and the dining room. "When you're talking about a sushi restaurant, you want to be able to see the chef's face and the refrigerated case with the fish inside," TK says.
Only open a week, the restaurant still working through some details, including the website and liquor license; for now Uni is BYOB. They're also watching customer activity to determine their hours.
"We're open until 10 pm on Sunday and 11 pm Monday through Saturdays," TK says. "We've seen people walking around the area at night, so we'd like to be there. But we know it's a broad range of hours, and we may change in response to demand. For now, we're trying to overshoot."