Cold weather is officially here, and with the decrease in temperatures comes the increase in sushi consumption. Most probably don’t think of sushi being associated with cold weather, but Edoko Sushi & Robata at CityLine is serving up hot miso soup, flavorful rolls and smoky robata to pair nicely with the dreary days ahead of us.
Edoko is the second establishment of this locally-owned business run by Eugene Park to appeal to a more modern, younger lunch crowd, as opposed to the first location over in Frisco. Eugene states he was aiming for less of a suburban feel and more of a casual, relaxed vibe – a place where patrons can come in for a quick lunch or a satisfying dinner.
Eugene’s education comes from Le Cordon Bleu culinary school in Dallas (he and I went to the same school; he was one class above me), and he uses his learned foundations to take traditional Japanese dishes and put a flair on them. “We can have a lot of fun without having to compromise on the fusion,” he stated. “It’s sushi, just with a bit of a modern twist.”
Edoko doesn’t want guests to get the wrong impression. This isn’t the hyper-Westernized sushi that has slipped into Dallas overnight; it’s foundationally the same as traditional sushi and robata, with typically only one or two aspects changed. Eugene is a firm believer in knowing the core concepts first, before messing with the formation of his product. Much like how Picasso took the rules of art and altered them to fit in his style, Edoko takes the rules of culinary foundation and gives them a new perspective, without going overboard and piling on a mountain of cream cheese or mayo-based sauces and covering it in a panko crust.
Edoko’s menu is clean and simple. From the bar to the plates, nothing is overbearing, heavy or so rich to the point of being sickening. Expect to only see about three or four components per roll, and to be served a plate of raw ingredients for the robata for you to cook yourself. “Robata translates to ‘around the fireplace’ in Japanese. It’s open flame, with a little bit of charcoal, to add a bit of earthy essence,” Eugene clarifies. Guests use a long, trench-like grill filled with ashen charcoal to grill and infuse their selection of meats and veggies with that unmistakable umami flavor that Japanese cuisine is famous for.
The drinks at Edoko are equally enticing. “There is no pre-made anything when you come to the bar,” Eugene promised. “We have about 10 different cocktails, with a new feature every single week.” These drinks play off of the same foundational strengths that make their food so good – simple, fresh, and elegant. House-made lychee syrup gives a tart and sweet pull from the Lychee Rose cocktail, and fresh berries make the Kuda Mojito a good choice, even in the winter.
Edoko Sushi & Robata embraces modernity in its style as well. The interiors are focused on neutral colors and straight lines. White bar tops and tables cut sharply against the floor-to-ceiling windows that look out onto the street, and pops of dark wood and privacy walls are scattered through the dining area. For dining with a small group, a booth is the best option, and for those looking to dine elbow-to-elbow with friends and strangers, the long, center table is an enticing option.
Edoko also features a large, private room for holiday parties, corporate events and private dining. It’s an excellent spot to grab a fistful of friends and dig into a mountain of closely roasted food and unique sushi rolls, all the while sipping off of the custom craft bar menu.
All in all, Edoko isn’t doing anything spectacularly different, and that’s what makes it so good. They don’t try to shroud the elegance of sushi and robata in a cloud of traditionalism and rituals. They play with their food, but never without paying homage to its roots. A good culinary foundation will take you far, but being able to take that foundation and rearranging it into something new, while actually making it taste good? That’ll take you even farther.
Edoko’s hours are 11:15am–2:30pm and 5–10pm on Monday–Thursday, 11:15am–2:30pm and 5–11pm on Friday, 5–11pm on Saturday, and 5–10pm on Sunday. Enjoy Happy Hour at 5-6:30pm on Monday–Friday. To reserve the private dining room at Edoko for a holiday party, call 972.479.9656.
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