New sushi restaurant in Uptown Dallas picks up where Yutaka left off
Uptown Dallas’ newest sushi spot has some big shoes to fill.
Called Maji Sushi, it's now open at 2633 McKinney Ave., former home to Yutaka Sushi Bistro, the highly rated sushi spot that shuttered in August after 17 years.
Maji is from Christina Park, who has experience in the sushi realm: She also owns Sushi Go, a casual spot in Arlington, which has been open since 2018.
"We weren’t looking to expand and we weren’t necessarily looking to be in Dallas, but this came up as an opportunity," she says. "It was one of those things that we heard about and just went in."
Yutaka made its mark with a rotating array of fresh fish, well sliced and presented along with grilled dishes including Hamachi Kama, yellowtail collar, the fattiest part of the fish, under the careful dotage of chef-owner Yutaka Yamato.
It's a distinctly different model from Sushi Go, which is a loosely-related chain with locations in North Dallas and suburbs such as Allen, Frisco, McKinney, Plano, Richardson and Rowlett. Their sushi is highly rated, and they have a big selection of rolls, but also non-sushi crowd-pleasers such as dumplings, tempura, egg rolls, and rice bowls.
Yamato helped ease the transition by lending a hand in hiring and training, before returning to his native Japan. Park has since been tinkering with the menu, which she says will be substantially changed and is reprinted every other day.
Her goal: High end, small bites, larger portions, "but different food."
"We are keeping a lot of Yukata’s popular rolls and we have also added some of our own," she says. "The previous menu didn’t have a large variety, so we will expand the menu. But it’s been a slow soft opening and we change the menu every couple of days. It will evolve as we gauge the market."
That includes the introduction of daily lunch specials including Bento boxes and sushi-sashimi combos, which are already being well received; and an expansion of the bar menu, adding more varieties of sake and Japanese craft beers.
She's also renovating the dining room from its previous "quiet temple" vibe into something more casual.
"We’re upgrading the furniture and the interior overall to make it more welcoming," she says.
Filling the culinary gap left by Yamato is not easy, and Park says they're still getting to know the neighborhood. "We’re in this hands on," she says.