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Where to Eat Now 2014

No. 10 Little Lilly

Fort Worth

Photograph by Kevin Marple

Thanks to the 2011 documentary film Jiro Dreams of Sushi, many people think of the quintessential sushi chef as a quiet purist who doles out morsels to a cadre of awestruck devotees. Not at Little Lilly, where affable Jesus Garcia, age 25, chats up customers while slicing and serving some of Fort Worth’s freshest fish. At the small brick storefront with a black sushi counter, blond wood chairs, and beckoning ceramic cats, he welcomes all comers. Sushi adepts appreciate the likes of his Little Lilly Nigiri Sampler. Depending on what’s freshest that day, the wafers of pristine seafood may range from white shrimp (with a sprinkle of roe on top) to firm, pink farmed king salmon from New Zealand to dark-amber-hued Santa Barbara sea urchin. Pieces are carefully brushed with the chef’s homemade nikiri, or glaze, and perched on tuffets of California-grown Nozomi short-grain rice. If the customer is game, the fearsome raw shrimp head that garnishes the nigiri sampler is whisked away, flash-fried, and returned to the counter as one very crispy critter. One bite at a time, Garcia is amassing a raw-fish fan club, but he’s just as happy if he can convince a teenager to try a roll without cream cheese or kewpie mayonnaise. Opened October 5, 2012. 6100 Camp Bowie Blvd (817-989-8886). L & D 7 days. $$

 

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