Cork Food & Drink Restaurant

For those who do not know, Cork (a wine bar) has opened in the place of the old Cimarron in the Times Square shopping center. I went to Cork the other Sunday for brunch and it was amazing. I had a hard time deciding between chicken and waffles or the eggs benedict but chose the latter and it was delish. It had salmon and caviar on it and I subbed the hashbrowns? for sweet potato fries, nom nom nom. It all went perfect with a mimosa and some great friends to catch up with. I can’t vouch for their wine or sushi but their Sunday brunch was great!

Cork Food & Drink
5201 S Broadway Ave
Ste 162
Tyler, TX 75703
(903) 363-9197

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

Yamato Japanese Hibachi & Sushi

Yamato Japanese Hibachi & Sushi I love trying new restaurants when they come to Tyler, so I have been a very happy girl lately.  I mentioned a couple of weeks ago how impressed I was with Wasabi.  So naturally I had to check out Yamato to see if it could compare.

Yamato is much larger than Wasabi, and their menu is beyond extensive.  They have hibachi and sushi and different seating areas to correspond.  Of course I wanted to try the sushi, so we were led to a table and promptly greeted by our server.  I was really hoping for a glass of wine so it was a bit disappointing to learn that Yamato is still waiting to receive their liquor license.  If I owned a restaurant I would definitely not open for business if my restaurant was not complete, but that’s just me.  This is not a deal breaker, but I will probably not be back until they get their license situation straightened out.  What can I say? I like a glass of wine with my meals when I go out to eat.

Yamato Japanese Hibachi & SushiDespite the minor speed bump I was still really excited to try the food, especially the bento boxes.  I read a really strange Japanese novel several years ago called Out, and that’s where I first heard of the bento box.  In my mind I pictured it being the Japanese equivalent of a Lean Cuisine.  We ordered a sashimi salad, a sashimi bento box, and a Tyler Roll.  We got our ginger salad and miso soup first which were both good.  When our sushi arrived it was quite obvious that we had ordered way too much food.  The Tyler Roll (spicy tuna, tempura flakes, sliced tuna topping in special sauce) was good, but my focus was on the bento box.  It was like a really cool cafeteria tray with fresh sashimi, a California roll, tempura vegetables, rice, and fruit.  All the food tasted fresh and delicious.

Yamato Japanese Hibachi & SushiI mentioned before that the menu at Yamato is extensive, and is it ever.  There would definitely be something for everyone here.  The sea bass bento box caught my eye and I’d really like to go back and try it sometime.  I think a lot of people will really like this restaurant, and I bet it will do well.

Now tell us, what is your favorite kind of sushi?

Yamato
2210 WSW Loop 323
Tyler, TX 75701
(903) 534-1888

Yamato on Urbanspoon

Wasabi Sushi Bar & Asian Bistro

Wasabi Asian Bistro and Sushi BarIn my often expressed opinion, Tyler has been in desperate need of a new sushi restaurant, in particular, one that would be open for lunch. My sushi dance to the gods must have worked, because now Tyler has two brand new Japanese restaurants, both serving sushi and both open for lunch. Strangely enough these two restaurants opened their doors in the same week and hopefully aren’t taking too much business from my first sushi love, Shogun’s.

Wasabi Sushi Bar & Asian BistroWasabi, located beside Karen Horton in the location formerly occupied by San Francisco Oven and Fiore (RIP), opened their doors last Saturday, May 29. I snuck away from an especially busy day at work this week to check it out as I needed a mental refresher to re-energize my brain. We arrived at noon and the restaurant was busy but not crowded. The hostess led us to a booth where we began to look over the menu. I saw some great things but was unsure whether the food could live up to the description. We decided to go with the salmon ceviche to start with and the Tyler TX and Hawaiian rolls. The salmon ceviche came out first. In a word, it was delicious! I especially loved the fresh taste of the salmon mixed with the sweet chunks of mango. I can’t wait to try this dish again. The rolls came out next and they were equally fabulous. My favorite was the Hawaiian. It had yellowtail rolled with avocado and pineapple. It tasted summery and refreshing. The Tyler TX roll (shrimp tempura, cream cheese, and jalapeno, baked topped with crab mix, salmon and spicy mayo, with unagi sauce, chirachi, tempura flakes, scallions, and masago) was great too.

Salmon CevicheI am still so impressed by my experience at Wasabi and can’t wait to go back. Good location, great service, and totally awesome food have pushed Wasabi to the top of my must-try list for those of you who love Japanese food. I can’t wait to hear what all of you think about it.

Wasabi Sushi Bar and Asian Bistro
5617 Donnybrook Avenue
Tyler, TX 75703-6111
(903) 939-0211

Wasabi

Sunflower

Wasabi

Wasabi Asian Bistro and Sushi Bar on Urbanspoon

Shogun of Japan

DSC05075 One genre of restaurant currently lacking in Tyler, in my opinion, is sushi restaurants.  Luckily, despite the lack of sushi establishments, the sushi options we do have here are fantastic, particularly, Shogun of JapanShoguns is a Japanese hibachi/sushi restaurant with two locations in Tyler, both on Broadway, known as Shoguns #1 and Shoguns #2, though I have never been able to remember which one is which.  I usually distinguish between the two as either inside the Loop or out…  The location I most frequently visit is Shoguns in the Loop, and judging by the crowd I witnessed there last night, I am not the only one.

DSC05079Whenever I get a craving for sushi, it comes on strong and is impossible to ignore.  Last night I had one of these cravings, so the sis and I went out to Shoguns for our sushi fix.  Every single spot in the parking lot was full, although it really didn’t seem that busy inside.  I think the hibachi side must seat a lot of people, because the parking lot always seems more full than the restaurant.  Not a huge fan of hibachi myself, I happily stick to the sushi side.  I am by no means an expert in sushi, however, I have eaten at The Bluefish in Dallas, and Tao in Las Vegas, and I really think the sushi at Shoguns in Tyler is just as good, if not better.  Nothing is off limits to me sushi-wise.  Octopus, eel, fish eggs, raw, whatever – I’ll eat it all.  Shoguns has a really great selection of both beginner sushi options like the California and Shrimp Crunch rolls, to more daring options like the Sunomono salad loaded with octopus.
DSC05083Recently remodeled, Shoguns in the Loop has tasteful Asian decor, and a nice but small bar area.  The service is always good, though a bit slow sometimes, and I notice that many of the servers at Shoguns have worked there for years.  If I could change one thing about Shoguns, I would make them open for lunch…  At least the sushi side so I could get a Seaweed salad and a Sunomono for a quick lunch.  Tylerites highly recommends Shogun of Japan on food, service, and ambiance. Definitely worth a look for anyone who loves sushi or who wants to learn to love sushi.  Or, if you don’t want to learn to love or even like sushi, check out Shoguns for the hibachi grill, and enjoy a Mai Tai with your Surf and Turf.

Tuna TowerShogun #1
5515 South Broadway Avenue
Tyler, TX 75703
(903) 534-1155‎

Shogun #2
3521 South Broadway Avenue
Tyler, TX 75701
(903) 561-9890‎

Cimarron

CimarronCimarron…  How have I not reviewed this place before?  I love it, and it’s always one of my first choices when asked to pick where to go for dinner or drinks.  Many of you know that Cimarron belongs to the Dakota’s and Fiore family, but it is definitely different (and not just because they serve sushi…  YES they serve sushi, and it’s not Shoguns!  Exciting, right?).  Let me just tell you…

When Cimarron first opened, they billed themselves as a tapas restaurant, meaning small plates, small portions…  The first of its kind in Tyler.  My husband and I heard about it and were immediately drawn in.  We loved it and declared immediately that it was our new favorite place to eat in Tyler.  I mean how many places around here can you get duck cakes or dilled cheese puffs? (Jimmy, if you are listening, PLEASE bring back the cheese puffs!  They were fab!)  Anyhow, I digress…  Cimarron offered an innovative menu for Tyler, and they were the first restaurant to offer ‘small plates’.  Definitely a first for East Texas but welcomed with open arms as evidenced by the large crowds drawn to Cimarron on any weekend night.

CimarronMonths went by, and Cimarron, addressing, what in my opinion, was a HUGE need in Tyler, decided to change their menu (for the second time – the first was when the dilled cheese puffs were eliminated).  But this time they offered a fair trade…  They started serving sushi.  Not just any sushi (hello Brookshire’s), but good sushi!  Try the Jimmy roll –  It’s awesome!  Also, I can’t let a Cimarron review pass me by without mentioning the drinks.  Cimarron seems to be just as much a bar as a restaurant…  Just take a look at the place.  The horseshoe shaped, large, granite bar counter top speaks for itself.  They offer a great wine selection, as well as specialty martinis and every other liquor concoction you could possibly want. Wednesday night is Ladies night and the place is packed, and the drinks are half priced.

Anyhow, my whole purpose here is to tell you about the Halloween party.  Apparently, this has been the place to spook and be spooked (or spooked in a sexy way, depending on your costume) for the past two years.  This year’s festivities include live music by Something Blue, drink specials for the ladies, and costume contests.  The place is decorated in its spooky garb, and it looks great.  Come out and party with your fellow Tylerites…  That is, if you can recognize them with their costumes on!

Cimarron
5201 S Broadway Ave
Tyler, TX 75703-3799
(903) 939-2200