There’s an image that comes to your head when you think of bars attached to Japanese restaurants.
Small and darkly-lit, often too crowded to interact with others or enjoy a drink and sushi. That’s not so at Dallas’ new bar, Uchiba, an extension of Uchi Dallas.
The Uchi brand is well known among Houstonians and Dallasites, with owner and Executive Chef Tyson Cole opening the Dallas location in 2015. Housed in what was once Top Knot, Uchiba is located above Uchi. The space is sleek and stylish with a large wrap-around bar, white marble bar tables mixed with booth seating, and an outdoor patio that will be especially delightful in the summertime.
There’s a definite upscale vibe to the bar that will attract a crowd after work for a pre-dinner cocktail and Japanese bites—which are mouthwatering, by the way. Try your hand at a Ticket to Tokyo cocktail, which features Toki Japanese whisky, peach, ginger, and lemon or the Pink Moon, a sake-tini with Ford’s gin, Ichinokura umeshu, and Peychaud’s bitters.
While Dallas is not a port city, it isn’t without deliciously fresh sushi bites at Uchiba. Their Namahotate sushi features a day boat scallop which is caught and served on the same day and offers a tantalizing experience for the palate – both salty and sweet – as the sushi piece is best eaten upside down with the fish touching your tongue first. Pair wine or sake with Uchiba’s Pork Belly Yakitori – a rich dish lathered in ﬁsh caramel, togarashi and lime. Foodies who are courageous in their food choices should try the prawn yakitori that includes prawns on a stick, with the heads separate, and fried with a buttery side sauce for dipping.
It’s not hard to picture the crowds that Uchiba will draw with its soon-to-be “Sake Social,” a happy hour from 5:00-6:30 p.m. that will offer discounted drinks and light bites. The spacious seating for guests will inevitably make Uchiba a popular spot for after-work chats and pre-dinner meetups, while the top-notch service of the staff from the chefs to the bartenders, and even the valet, will bring guests coming back.
At the end of our visit, there was a valet mix up and we had to wait a bit longer for our car (we were too engrossed in a conversation on the delicious sushi bites Uchiba offers to even notice). The valet handed us a gift card as an apology. As if we weren’t already in love with the gorgeous space, Chef Tyson’s amazing food selections, and Japanese whisky drinks, the valet’s gesture was just the cherry on top that has made for a new, loyal Uchiba customer.
Cover photo: Uchiba’s prawn yakitori. Logan Crable