Soju Sushi Bar & Asian Bistro

All the Wasabi fans out there will be very excited about the newest addition to their Asian cuisine serving restaurant family, Soju.  Walking into Soju is very similar to walking in Wasabi, same look and feel, even some of the same employees. The food is just as good as at Wasabi, and the prices are comparable.

Soju serves a broad selection of sushi rolls, specialty rolls and sashimi in addition to their entrees and noodle bowls.   Like Wasabi, Soju offers a nice variety of unique specialty drinks, extending way beyond the usual selections. Soju also has live music (Dustin Becker) on the weekends.

Located at the corner of Grande and Old Jacksonville, Soju occupies the location once home to Kung Pao before they closed their doors just months after opening. I have a pretty good feeling that Soju will enjoy much more success than the previous restaurant based on the positive buzz they are already generating.

Soju Sushi Bar & Asian Bistro
6361 Old Jacksonville Hwy
Tyler, TX 75703
(903) 939-1100

Julian’s Asian Diner

Julian'sStepping in to Julian’s in the Time Square shopping center is like stepping out of Tyler and into a hip, big-city bistro. The eatery’s new owners pulled out the big guns to maximize not only the limited square footage, but they infinitely up’d the cool factor by utilizing cutting edge, modern furniture, eye catching art, and anything but traditional LCD projected wall displays.

The cocktail menu offers a great selection of specialty cocktails, wine, and beer, and the dinner menu features Julian’s favorites like the Spicy Chicken and the Cune Special. One thing I would love to see at Julian’s is more seafood! Some rotating dinner specials featuring fresh seafood would push Julian’s up to one of my top-Tyler restaurant picks instead of top pick for pre or post dinner drinks like it is now.
If for no other reason than to ogle the fantastic decor, Julian’s is a must for anyone in the mood for good food, great drinks, and awesome atmosphere.

Julian's Asian DinerJulian’s Asian Diner
5201 S Broadway Ave # 122
Tyler, TX 75703-3769
(903) 509-8833

julians4

Kung Pao Asian Diner

Kung Pao Asian DinerWhen I heard the announcement on the radio that the Kung Pao Asian Bistro restaurant on Old Jacksonville was open for business I didn’t hesitate to try it and ate lunch there that day. I pulled up to the restaurant just after noon and was a bit surprised to see there was no crowd to speak of despite Tyler’s love affair with new restaurants. Chalking it up to a lackluster advertising effort, I proceeded inside to see the goods.

The dining room is spacious and modern. You order in the back, take a seat, then the waitstaff delivers your food when it’s ready. Kung Pao serves a variety of Asian dishes from Thai noodle bowls to Korean spare ribs. I ordered the Basa bowl with steamed rice and my sister ordered the Kung Pao fried rice with chicken. I visited in the middle of a work day, but I mentally noted the stocked beer refrigerators for next time.

Our food arrived quickly and was steaming hot as the server set it on the table. My fish was good though much heavier than I expected as it was fried. I would have known this though had a read the menu instead of just glancing over the order board which lists titles only, no descriptions. The fried rice was a good, safe choice, nothing out of the ordinary, but good nonetheless.

The best thing about Kung Pao is the delivery service. Tyler restauranteurs… Follow their lead!  Tylerites like delivery!  Overall, Kung Pao is a good choice for a quick, hot lunch. Want it ever more quickly? Have it delivered!

Kung Pao Asian Diner
6163 Old Jacksonville Hwy
Tyler, TX 75703
903-939-1100

Kung Pao menu

Julian’s Asian Diner

juliansWhat a pleasant surprise it was for me to enter Julian’s Asian Diner and find a non-buffet Asian restaurant.  Previously limited to Chinese buffets and Japanese hibachi grills, before Julian’s opened it’s doors, Tyler desperately needed a sit-down style Asian restaurant.

Julian’s is not new.  It’s been around for a few years, but it recently came under new ownership, and the new owners are doing some cool things to the place.  The biggest improvement they are making is to remodel the entire bar area.  Previously, the bar looked cool, but it wasn’t really practical.  I have not seen the new bar area, but I know it’s going to be a lot bigger and offer more seating than the few low couches and tables that they had before.

The food at Julian’s is very good, and luckily, I don’t think the new owners plan on changing the menu.  My favorite thing is the Cune Special, one of their Health Bowls, which consists of brown rice, shrimp, chicken, and veggies served with your choice of sauce.  Personally, I love it with shrimp and scallops instead of chicken, and the Teriyaki sauce.  I am getting hungry just thinking about it!  Other great choices include the Julian’s Spicy Chicken, the Honey Seared Shrimp, and the Filet Medallions topped with Gorgonzola.

juliansAside from the good food, Julian’s also offers a nice selection of beers, wines, and martinis.  I had my first ever Leinenkugel here, which marked the start of a very special relationship between me and my new favorite wheat beer.

Be sure to head over to Julian’s for lunch or dinner.  For lunch try the Cune Special or Spicy Chicken.  For dinner I’d recommend the Filet Medallions that I mentioned earlier, and definitely one of their special martinis.  That would be the perfect way to unwind after a long day of Christmas shopping.  Check out Julian’s menu online at www.juliansintyler.com (their annoying Flash website is not a good representation of the restaurant).

Julian’s Asian Diner
5201 S Broadway Ave # 122
Tyler, TX 75703-3769
(903) 509-8833