There’s something about that area of our favorite sushi or seafood place, the one that makes you want to press your face against the glass to get a better look at the array of fresh, delectable bites that await you on a bed of ice. Raw bars are those tantalizing corners that veer us away from the high-top tables and booths and the cooked culinary counterparts listed on the menu. It doesn’t get much easier than ordering by point-to-plate, and these five Dallas spots are a great way to get your raw on.
1 Tei Tei Robata Bar
Perhaps best known for the killer late night lounge for weekend hijinks, Tei Tei also houses a raw bar in the next room. Even though this eatery specializes in robata-style grilling, their raw dishes are second to none. All seafood is flown in daily from Japan, offering Bluefin Tuna, Spiney Lobster, Branzine, Abalone, and more. Feeling a bit more carnivorous? Some nights Tei Tei offers a delicious Washu Beef Sashimi.
Tei Tei Robata Bar, 2906 N Henderson Ave, 214.828.2400, www.teiteirobata.com
2 Zen Sushi
Situated in Oak Cliff's thriving Bishop Arts District, Zen Sushi won the Dallas Observer award this year for best place to, you guessed it, down some sushi. But apart from the obvious, star chef Michelle Carpenter, who after working at the legendary Yamaguchi's opened Zen, puts her Japanese and Cajun roots to work in her crafty menu items. But don't head to Zen on half-price sushi night. Instead, opt for the 10-course chef special Omakase, where Carpenter could hand-roll your rolls and shimmy your sashimi herself.
Zen Sushi, 380 W 7th St, 214.946.9699, www.zensushidallas.com
3 The Blue Fish
It's no wonder this lower Greenville restaurant has become a Dallas staple, with their Bento boxes for lunch and ever-revolving list of fresh specials. Some like it hot, and those people should go straight to Blue Fish--a few of their specialty dishes, like the Lava Roll (fresh cilantro and jalapenos, Albacore Tuna and Sriracha), are worth the trip alone. Looking to simplify things? Try the mackerel sashimi.
The Blue Fish, 3519 Greenville Ave, 214.824.3474, www.thebluefishsushi.com
4 Eddie V's
It's rare (pun intended) that a seafood joint which also specializes in prime cuts of beef offers a respectable raw bar, but Eddie V's happens to be the exception to the rule. If you can't squeeze into the main bar during happy hour or score a seat during prime-time dinner rush, don't hesitate to grab a seat at the raw bar and chow down on some oysters, gulf shrimp and more.
Eddie V's, 4023 Oaklawn Ave, 214.890.1500, www.eddiev.com
One of Uptown's little secrets (although the spot is right smack dab on McKinney Avenue,) Gui is a go-to if you want to impress a date by saddling up to the raw bar and pointing out which colorful slab behind the glass is Yellowtail Tuna. The chefs are personable and professional, and will fix you up with whatever your heart, or eyes, desire. Got a massive craving? All-you-can-eat sushi is available here Sundays and Tuesdays.
Gui, 2719 McKinney Ave, 214.720.9229, www.guirestaurant.com