Niwa Japanese BBQ
An industrial-modern decor is a good fit for this restaurant focusing on a wide range of yakiniku. Lots of brick and iron and handsome reclaimed-wood beams set the right tone for the restaurant’s historic but hip Deep Ellum digs. Since this was our first yakiniku experience (the word refers to bite-size pieces of meat grilled over a charcoal flame), we appreciated our waiter’s coaching; thanks to him, nothing was over- or undercooked. The seasoned meats come with dipping sauces, but our filet mignon was plenty flavorful all by itself. One of our favorites was an order of lamb chops in a spicy ginger marinade (excellent, not to mention a bargain at three for $11). Wagyu-topped deviled eggs were more flash than substance, but pork belly fans should try the kitchen’s sweet, soy-ginger-braised version. Some cold and hot dishes from the kitchen, like the crudo and the chef’s specials, are also well worth exploring. Ditto the inventive cocktails. Dessert—a spongy matcha cake with ganache, miso caramel, and glazed almond crunch—merged Eastern and Western ingredients beautifully.