Video Transcript: I stopped in Piranha Killer Sushi in downtown Fort Worth. The place is like a small toe on the Sundance Square parking garage that squats on the corner of 3rd and Taylor. The green circle shows where the restaurant is at ground level. Here’s a tip: You can park in the garage for free for up to 2.5 hours if you get your ticket validated at the public library. I visited the library after lunch to see the excellent water color display and to pick up Bill Bryson’s book, “At Home: A short history of the private life.”
This Japanese-themed eatery is described by Sundance Square as “a premier dining destination for exquisite sushi and drinks served in a killer atmosphere.” On this Wednesday afternoon, it was more of an empty atmosphere, but I was directed toward a table along the wall and began reviewing the menu featuring appetizers, sushi and sashimi, and signature rolls including Wasabi Crusted Salmon, the Latino, featuring jalapenos, the Dancing Eel roll…how fun does that sound…a few shrimp options and even 2 veggies-only rolls.
The table was set with piranha-branded chopsticks, a napkin, a plate, and a small bowl for soy sauce, which sat on the table in this bottle.
I settled on on the Maki Bento lunch entree. The quadrants of the Bento box featured two salads. The first was a vinegar-based cucumber and tomato salad and second featured green beans and imitation crab meat formed from a slurry of processed shark meat swimming in a creamy sauce. There were also 12 pieces with cucumbers and tuna, and 4 pieces of a California roll, served with customary ginger slices and wasabi paste. More on those in a minute.
The meal started with a warm, but not hot, bowl of traditional miso soup with an understated and somewhat sweet flavor. Swimming in the broth were cubes of tofu and pieces of seaweed called Wakame, a word that first appeared in a Japanese-English dictionary in 1867, the same year Japan became ruled by a 14-year old emperor.
Let’s move on to the main attraction, and I don’t mean the salads. I’m going to admit that I’m new to the world of sushi, so this may have been the first time I have eaten sushi wrapped in nori, or seaweed. If I come to enjoy this down the road, it will be an acquired textural experience. I’m used to bites of sushi at Central Market that are held together by the stickiness of the rice, and chewing through the seaweed wraps gave the sensation that I was chewing on a disc of packed rice wrapped in a bandaid. Not that there’s anything wrong with eating bandaids. The flavors of both the cucumber and tuna pieces were underwhelming. At one point, I caught a clear note of Ralph Lauren’s Polo Blue fragrance for men, that features a prominent cucumber note. And the tuna was small in proportion to the rice, and the rice, although sufficiently sticky, lacked the notes of vinegar that define the traditional sushi experience.
The California rolls featured the usual cucumber, avocado, and crab sticks and was topped with traces of TOBIKO, or the roe of flying fish. As with the cucumber and tuna rolls, there was little flavor in these bites, which is why the ginger, wasabi, and soy sauce were more needed than ever. Usually, these additives result in an explosion of flavor…and heat…but that didn’t happen so much with this meal. In fact, the soy sauce looked a bit watered down to me, and the server wasn’t sure what it was, though he guessed it might be Kikkoman.
In short, the Piranha Killer Sushi location in downtown Fort Worth will give you a healthy meal with generous portions, and this might be perfect if you need a break from briskets and burgers. This would be a good location to take a business client for lunch since it’s not overcrowded, the service was fast, and the parking was convenient. The next time I go, I’ll talk with the server about ordering a sushi roll with more of a kick…perhaps the Bullet Roll featuring spicy salmon.
One final note, this 6-restaurant chain here in North Texas is active in giving back to the community. They contribute to the Boys and Girls Club and to the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation, just to name a couple. If you are looking for a Texas-based restaurant that not only serves good food but also serves as a good neighbor, then you can’t go wrong with Pirhana Killer Sushi.