- Teresa Gubbins, CultureMap

A new sushi restaurant has opened in Uptown Dallas from a restaurateur with a long history in Asian food in Dallas. Called TaTa Asian Cuisine, the restaurant opened in late June at 2719 McKinney Ave., and is from Marcelo Fan, who founded the Lover’s Egg Roll chain.

Lover’s always took a down-to-basics approach, serving decent Chinese food inside the Loop at a decent price. It currently has two locations, in Plano at 5960 W. Parker Rd., and North Dallas at 16627 N. Coit Rd.

TaTa embraces that same customer-friendly pragmatism, but featuring popular Japanese dishes instead.

There are hibachi dinners for lunch and dinner, with chicken, vegetables, steak, and shrimp, served with rice and a side of grilled veggies.

There are noodles, fried rice, curry rice, and tonkotsu ramen. There are bento boxes with teriyaki chicken or salmon, orange chicken, chicken katsu, and tempura shrimp, served with gyoza, a California roll, steamed rice, soup, and salad. There are sushi rolls and sashimi.

Opening a sushi restaurant one block away from Yutaka, the highly acclaimed sushi spot from chef Yutaka Yamato, is a bold move. But TaTa and Yutaka occupy different niches. Yutaka is open for dinner only and serves pristine sushi with a chef’s touch.

TaTa follows the lead of Gui, the Asian-Korean restaurant that was the prior tenant in this location (where it lasted a mind-boggling decade). The focus is on cheap, quick lunches starting at $10, and no-fuss dinner.

“I think a lot of what we bring is convenience,” says the spokesperson. “We’re right next to Tate’s, and we get a lot of their customers during weekends and vice versa. This block has a lot of foot traffic, and we get a lot of people in the neighborhood who just walk in.”

They have two sushi chefs and one chef dedicated to entrees and hibachi items. Unlike their suburban peers, the hibachi is not for display; given the limited square footage of this in-town spot, it’s done in the kitchen instead.

“Marcelo’s kids are half Chinese and half Japanese, and he was thinking of them,” a spokesperson says. “He wanted to try something new.”

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