Pros: Outstanding food, charming and attentive service.
Cons: I didn't know about this place sooner!
The Bottom Line: Wonderful place to get on your sushi or curry fix! Nice atmosphere, great service.
I was asked where I wanted to go for my birthday dinner tonight and I considered all my grown children and their tastes and then I decided that since we were celebrating MY birthday that I should go where I darn well please.
It was an easy choice. I wanted to go back to Nandina Asian Tapas & Sushi Restaurant. We went there for the first time a month or so ago and I have been having sushi thoughts ever since. I told hubby "I want sushi and I want to eat it until I can't eat any more." I don't think I've ever gotten full on sushi, I always want more than we get.
There was some discussion with my kids and my son hemmed and hawed and then admitted that he'd never tried sushi and since it was my birthday then I should get to pick. My daughters were all up for it. My youngest girl recently got a job at a pricey sushi place in Ft. Worth and she was anxious to show off what she's learned about it and compare it to her new restaurant.
We got there a little before seven and were seated immediately. I'm guessing Monday night is not that busy, but the place was filling up when we left.
The decor is eclectic. The walls are dark rust color and the tables a dark cherry color. The lighting was provided by small clusters of hanging halogen pendants. We sat in a booth behind a lucite cube wall filled with wine bottles and colorful bottles of liqueurs. There was a framed Picasso reproduction on the wall behind our table. The music playing tonight was a light techno disco. It's loud enough to make you boogie a little while you sit, but not so loud that it is distracting from dinner conversation.
We waited about ten seconds for menus and about thirty seconds for water. There was a lot of discussion about the various types and qualities of sake, and I was informed by my knowledgeable daughters that good sake is served cold. I've only ever had hot sake so trying some cold was interesting. My daughter made the choice. I couldn't read the menu but it was good regardless.
We started out with edamame and fried calamari. I've had edamame a few times and I must say this batch was tasty, and the beans had just the right firmness and good flavor. The calamari was a little tough, but the sauce was good.
We decided to try out several different rolls and share panang curry. It was all good. Everything is served in an attractive and appetizing manner. The different rolls featured slightly different decorative sauces and wraps that varied from regular rice to seaweed on the exterior. We passed the different plates around so that we could all try everything.
Nandina has a huge menu and is very reasonably priced. They offer Nigiri, Sashimi and Rolls with a variety of seafood offerings. They offer green, red, yellow, panang and pineapple curry. There are a variety of entrees that come with steamed jasmine rice and a variety of protein choices from tofu to chicken to beef to squid. There is a nice selection of noodles and pasta from pad thai pasta to spicy basil pasta and lo mein. There are "Cold Tapas" from seaweed to cold papaya. The "Hot Tapas" range from tulip dumplings to yakitori chicken to chilean sea bass.
Tonight we tried the yellowtail roll, which was fairly mild and not overtly fishy. The flavor was delicate. My son was astonished that it didn't taste like bait! The eel roll was my favorite tonight. I ordered seconds of that one. We also shared the spicy tuna roll, the spicy salmon roll and the shrimp tempura roll. They were all of a nice consistency and were very fresh. The sauce on the salmon roll was beautifully presented and added a nice zing to the flavor.
The panang curry comes with green beans, lime leaf and coconut milk. We ordered this one with shrimp, which were also fresh. I've been off shrimp for a while, but this dish reminded me why I have liked it a lot in the past. The sauce is very creamy and has some heat to it. I had the red curry beef last time which definitely had some "make your eyelids sweat" kind of warmth to it.
We all ate until we could eat no more. There were two lonely little slices from the eel roll left. My husband and daughter stared at them for a minute and then she said "Leave no sushi behind," and they gobbled them up. About then our sweet little waitress asks if we want dessert. My eyes are bulging at this point but I'm informed that I get a birthday dessert. The server comes back with green tea ice cream and a serving of fried bananas with vanilla ice cream. She brought five spoons and we polished it off quickly.
We stuffed five people full of sushi, calamari, curry, ice cream and had a bottle of sake for $82.00. The service was so attentive and helpful and kind, we left a very generous tip.
Nandina is located at: 5631 Alta Avenue, Dallas, TX 75206 214-826-6300
They also offer a very reasonably priced lunch special for under ten dollars.
AND. . . they deliver with a fifteen dollar minimum.
Kid Friendliness: No Vegetarian Friendly: Yes Notes, Tips or Menu Recommendations Everything I''ve tried there has been wonderful. I thought the different rolls particularly good--as good as any I''ve had before. Maybe not a place for kids if they don''t like sushi or curry. No hamburger option here. Best Suited For: Friends