One of Dallas' best-known sushi restaurants is expanding north: Oishii, which has been a destination for sushi fans at Wycliff Avenue for nearly two decades, is opening a location in Plano.
The restaurant will open at 8448 Parkwood Blvd. #700, in a shopping center at the intersection of SH-121.
According to Oishii Wycliff general manager Fabian Hernandez, they're aiming for an early summer opening.
"We hoped we might be open by May, but with slowdowns in the permitting process, it'll probably be June," Hernandez says.
Since 2003, Oishii has prospered as a neighborhood sushi restaurant and hidden gem, as well as a showcase for the sushi chops and superb hospitality of chef-owner Thanh Nguyen, who'd previously worked at restaurants such as Nakamoto in Plano and Steel in the Oak Lawn area before taking over a former Vietnamese buffet on Wycliff Avenue and opening his own place.
Hernandez joined to help with the SMU opening. A certified sommelier with the Court of Master Sommeliers, he'd also worked at high-end steakhouses such as Pappas Bros. Steakhouse, Ocean Prime, Capital Grill, and Nana, as well as with the Harwood group.
Hernandez and Nguyen first met when they both worked at Steel and made a connection, keeping in touch over the course of their careers.
Hernandez brought in a seasoned team, including SMU general manager Brian Huynh, an advanced sommelier who had worked at The Mansion on Turtle Creek and Gemma, to elevate service and implement a new beverage program offering boutique wines, fine sakes, and craft cocktails to complement Oishii's sushi and pan-Asian cuisine.
"We opened Oishii at SMU and also LaVui Vietnamese Restaurant in the middle of pandemic, and I feel kind of proud about that," Hernandez says. "We're very down to earth, we're not flashy, but we love hospitality."
Oishii is beloved for a variety of reasons, including its imaginative rolls, the hospitality of its staff, and its broad menu with not just sushi but also Vietnamese and Chinese dishes, including classics like orange chicken.
"We have a full sushi menu, and another 25 specialty rolls, and then an entire pan-Asian menu, so it's like three menus in one," Hernandez says. "We've also seriously expanded our wine list with all sorts of bottles, it's fun and geeky and has lots of great surprises."
Going north was a no-brainer.
"I can't tell you how many times a week we hear from customers visiting our Dallas locations who say they drove 20 minutes to eat there," Hernandez says. "It's wonderful they come in, but we realized, wow, we need to open a location there."
The Plano location will be overseen by partner Oscar Rodriguez, Oishii's longest tenured employee who served as Oishii's original general manager for nine years.
Like their SMU spinoff, the Plano Oishii will have the essential thing everyone wants these days: a sizable patio. "With the pivot from COVID-19, everyone wants outdoor seating, it's become a must," he says.