Texas Monthly adds and updates approximately sixty restaurant listings to our Dining Guide each month. There’s limited space in the print issue, but the entire searchable guide to the best of Texas cuisine is at your fingertips online!
Below are a few highlights from the new restaurants reviewed in our October 2019 issue. In case you missed it, restaurant critic Patricia Sharpe’s 2019 list of Texas’s Best New Restaurants came out in our March issue, and you can also read up on her latest Pat’s Pick, Fort Worth’s Gemelle.
Click “More Info” for further detail on each restaurant:
In Japanese, “shabu-shabu” means “swish-swish.” It’s both the sound of tasty slices of raw meat, seafood, and vegetables being swirled in bubbling broth and also the type of restaurant that serves them. You grab the edibles with your chopsticks and dip dip dip them in the hot pot on your cleverly designed table. Then you douse douse douse them in the various sauces provided (thin, bright ponzu; thick, nutty sesame; several more). Finally, you pop pop pop them in your mouth. We loved our wagyu beef and pristine scallop, but the stars of the show were the chicken meatballs and pot pockets (think dumplings). Sinewy pork was the one disappointment. You can order à la carte, but the omakase tasting menu is fun and starts at a very reasonable $45. Upscale and dimly lit, DipDipDip comes from the fevered imagination of chef-owner Tatsu Aikawa, the power behind Ramen Tatsu-Ya and Kemuri Tatsu-Ya.
Japanese | ⭑⭑ | $$$ | More Info
Dallas-area Korean restaurants are usually wedged into Korean-centric strip centers, but this one occupies a handsome venue in a rising restaurant zone. Dark wood furnishings feature tables with built-in grills; our server expertly cooked spice-marinated pork belly strips for us, to which we added chile sauce and then alternated bites with rice and nine tiny-plate accompaniments, from kimchi to marinated cucumber. Even better than the barbecue are the hot-stone bibimbap dishes: rice bowls brimming with a choice of spiced proteins (we liked the beef bulgogi), cooked greens, mushrooms, shredded vegetables, egg yolk, wakame (dried seaweed), and microgreens. We gave our bowl a big stir and dug in for satisfying bites that included crisped rice from the bottom.
Korean| ⭑⭑ | $$ | More Info
Kubo’s Sushi & Washoku
Kubo’s closed in the Rice Village a few years ago, but that loss is now a gain for the Heights, a neighborhood short on Japanese spots. Lofty ceilings in a modern, industrial-style space attract date-night couples to the sprawling sushi bar and dining room, with its roomy booths and tables. One of the original Kubo’s sushi chefs, Shimao Ishikawa, is on hand (best known from a previous tenure at Michelin-starred restaurant Jewel Bako, in New York). The sushi has been notably upgraded, the fish flown in from global suppliers. The washoku—literally “Japanese food”—part of the menu expands on the sushi options with such dishes as a mushroom mélange in addition to small hot plates such as moist roasted duck breast with a tempura-style dipping sauce. Wagyu beef appears in different grades. Our favorite was the four-ounce Texas wagyu ishiyaki, a hot-stone entrée, closely followed by grilled skewers of the tender meat.
Japanese | ⭑⭑⭑ | $$$$ | More Info
A successful transition from pop-up to bona fide shop, the new hit in South Main Village wows with standards and fascinating one-offs from a wood-burning oven. Proprietor-talent Jaime Fernandez has fun with pies like the Tim Curry, spreading green curry béchamel over a feather-light crust, drizzling that with burnt serrano oil, and topping the whole thing with pickled celery and shallots and a scattering of chopped cilantro. A hearty effort is found in the pizza bearing smoked brisket, smashed tiny potatoes, Carolina barbecue sauce tinged with chiles moritas, and chopped green onions. Satisfying salads include the simple but sublime Hail Caesar, topped with wood-fired croutons. We especially like the small but thoughtfully chosen wine list.
Pizza| ⭑⭑⭑ | $$ | More Info
Noodles & Dumplings
There is no fancy decor and no nonsense. Noodles & Dumplings is about noodles and dumplings, both of which are incredible. Owner Michelle Xu prides herself on a diligent kitchen team (one that you can watch from your table) that works with flour and oil and just the right temperatures to make perfect noodle soups, delectable kung pao chicken bao, and entrées like pickled fish and Mongolian beef. Dim sum is made to order which means, give yourself time as it will be worth the wait. Do not miss the xiao long bao, the tender dumplings filled with a beautiful broth.
Chinese| ⭑⭑⭑ | $$ | More Info
Our reviews are written by critics who live in the cities and regions they cover. They remain anonymous to ensure that they receive no special treatment. The magazine pays for all meals and accepts no advertising or other consideration in exchange for a listing. Comments? Write us.