Yutaka Sushi Bistro was one of Dallas’ most under-the-radar sushi restaurants, and one of its best. It closed recently after being open for 17 years just off of McKinney Avenue in Uptown Dallas.
CultureMap reports that chef-owner Yutaka Yamato is moving home to Japan to grow coffee.
A sign on the door is already announcing the next tenant: Maji Sushi, which opens Sept. 1, 2023.
Yamato has watched big change happen in Uptown Dallas in just under two decades there. The Gingerman Pub, a beloved beer bar at the end of the block, has been bulldozed. So has Idle Rich across the street. Jake’s is gone. At the same time, neighboring restaurant S&D Oyster Co. has stayed nearly the same as it approaches 50 years in business.
Yutaka was always a bit of a sleeper, the type of restaurant that had lots of regulars in-the-know. It made it onto Dallas Morning News’ “best-of” lists a few times.
“In a city that has an abundance of sushi bars but all too few where the chefs season the rice properly or take the trouble to sauce raw fish to show it to its best advantage, Yutaka Sushi Bistro is a rare gem,” our former critic wrote of Yutaka in 2015. She enjoyed the raw fish list that changed regularly: “velvety slices of arctic char or silver-edged, umami-rich slabs of shime saba (cured mackerel),” to name two.
Slices of Joshu Wagyu beef were another favorite by regulars. It was a calmly confident spot for a business lunch.
“Yutaka serves what I consider to be easily the best sushi in Dallas proper,” our critic said in a four-star review in 2015.
Given its history since 2006, Yutaka was likely one of the earlier restaurants where native Dallasites learned to enjoy raw fish. Nobu arrived in Dallas just a year before it, in 2005. Tei-An opened in 2008. Uchi in 2015. Shoyo in 2021. Tatsu in 2022.
In a telling obituary for the restaurant, Yamato told CultureMap that the restaurant was both “a dream come true” and “a true adventure.”
Yutaka Sushi Bistro was at 2633 McKinney Ave., Dallas.