One of Dallas' most popular sushi restaurants is spinning off a baby brother. Oishii, which has been a destination for sushi fans at Wycliff Avenue just off the North Dallas Tollway for more than a decade, is opening a second location at 5625 SMU Blvd. near US-75.
A representative from the restaurant confirmed that chef and owner Thanh Nguyen had taken the space that was once Across the Street Bar and was most recently Spin Pizza.
"We felt like we had to expand, because we always have a wait, and many of our customers come from that area," he said.
They're planning to open by January.
The family-run restaurant 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 basic Asian favorites like orange chicken.
Nguyen oversees a crew of chefs who are careful and creative, and is also a friendly host.
As an immigrant from Vietnam who graduated from Plano East Senior High School and The University of Texas at Dallas, where he majored in computer science, Nguyen also has a local following.
He built his skills working 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 Oishii — which means "delicious" in Japanese — in 2003.
Oishii serves as a convenient lunch spot for medical workers nearby, with reasonable prices and favorites like the spicy salmon cabbage salad and sushi lunch platter.
At dinner, it's specials like Peking duck, coconut sea bass, crab & Chinese asparagus soup, and the Royce sushi roll drizzled with truffle oil, as well as its accommodation of special requests for custom sushi dishes that make diners feel so very VIP.
Oishii's proximity to the tollway cannot be overstated. If you live in the Park Cities, Preston Hollow, North Dallas, or Plano, you can pop down the tollway, pop into the parking lot, and boom.
But it's also one of those all-walks-of-life places where you can rub elbows with people you wouldn't run into otherwise.
For many years, Oishii was a kind of hidden gem, an underground place where patrons could feel like they were in the know. That changed in 2012 when the restaurant endured a fire. It took nearly a year to re-open, and when it did, it boasted designer touches such as golden wall tiles and suspension lighting from Italy.
The absence of the restaurant gave it an almost epic status, increasing the fervency among fans.