D Magazine intern Carol Shih prowls Dallas in search of the best Asian cuisine. She’s a weird Chinese American who doesn’t like most seafood, but can’t help feeling passionate about sushi.
In my food religion, sushi is the Bread of Life and I am its most intrepid disciple. If it weren’t for this inherent desire to seem normal, I would have erected a temple of worship for this Japanese food and used a rice cooker as the altar. Instead, I named my blond Labrador “Sushi” and consider this a sign of my lasting devotion whenever she slips through the fence and I’m hollering her name down the street. My neighbors must think I’m crazy and always hungry.
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So when my dad asked his friend, Mary Ann, where she had tasted the best sushi in town, I had to try her suggestion: Sushi Yokohama, a tiny sushi and sashimi bar in a strip mall that I always pass by. But this time I stopped and walked through its front doors, anticipating what Mary Ann had deemed the most authentic place in Dallas.
Though Sushi Yokohama was eerily quiet when I walked in around dinnertime, a few regular customers started trickling in soon after and it was hard to pin down Young Gerke, the owner and waitress. “It’s just one of those days,” she sighed, and then paused in the middle of our interview to help jumpstart one of her customer’s cars. I knew right off the bat that service here must be pretty unbeatable. For the last eleven years since Sushi Yokohama first opened, David Oh, Gerke’s brother, has been the top sushi chef (and now the only one) at this establishment. Don’t let his Korean heritage fool you, though; back in Hawaii, he trained under Japanese chefs and served Japanese tourists until he learned how real sushi—not the Westernized kind—is supposed to taste like.
The menu isn’t cheap, but well worth the price considering the generous portions of fresh fish. Thick pink slabs of raw salmon drape over California rolls or rice depending on your preference, glistening lusciously at the price of $11.95-$13.95. For $6.95, I tried the Louisiana roll which comes with fried crawfish, cucumber, avocado, and orange spicy sauce lightly drizzled over little curls of crawfish piled on top. A real winner, I tell you. The Yokohama roll was creative with its flying fish eggs and green soybean paper ($13.95), but didn’t excite my taste buds like the Negihama roll ($7.95), a simple combination of green onion and yellowtail fish that could’ve jumped straight out of the ocean.
For those who aren’t weak of stomach, stick to the raw fish because that’s what makes Sushi Yokohama stand out from other Japanese restaurants. “We’re a small restaurant and we want to keep it that way. Some sushi places are big and they make the sushi somewhere you can’t see it. We want our sushi fresh,” said the owner. She then bid me over to watch Chef Oh prepare a Tuna Tower ($13.95-$16.95) with spicy tuna, crab, and avocado served on a stack of sushi rice covered in zesty sauce. Holy. Moly. If this tower were any higher, the Sushi Gods would have to strike it down for reaching the heavens.
No wonder Young Gerke calls her place the “best kept secret.”
But now that the secret’s out (at least on SideDish), it’s time to head over to Sushi Yokohama if you’re a fellow worshiper. Just don’t name your dog “Sushi” like me. It never feels right when you tell people you’re going out to eat sushi.
19009 Preston Rd # 115
Dallas, TX 75252-8553