dining divas

Uni Sushi brings Modern Japanese to the heart of Downtown Plano

Why face traffic driving to Dallas’ Uptown, when Plano’s downtown has so many great restaurants with an equally cool vibe? Uni Sushi is one such restaurant.

Located near longtime favorite Kelly’s Eastside on Avenue K, Uni Sushi offers modern Japanese cuisine in a setting that’s just the right mixture of casual and upscale—upholstered chairs, crisp black tablecloths, occasional pops of orange accents, and wrap-around bar seating that gives guests a front row seat to the owner/chef preparing delicious dishes.

A tree-lined sidewalk leads to this intimate restaurant that is great for lunch with friends or a nice dinner date in the evening. Jazz and soft rock tunes play in the background.

The menu offers sushi favorites and interesting options (some are offered only at dinner). Among them are the always popular California roll, and its more elaborate version the Rainbow roll, which adds six kinds of fresh fish on top of a California roll. Try something very interesting—Kay’s roll, which has six kinds of fresh fish on top of a Spicy Tuna roll with black caviar, topped with mustard dressing.

The starters are wonderful. Sizzling dumplings are stuffed with a pleasantly seasoned minced pork mixture then lightly fried. And who can go wrong with Shrimp Tempura? The Japanese-style battered shrimp are deep fried in vegetable oil just enough so they have a nice crunchy exterior without being greasy. Both starters are served with a ponzu dipping sauce.

Some entree selections are familiar favorites, while others are new to us. Uni’s chicken teriyaki is excellent. Boneless, skinless chicken breast is marinated with garlic, parsley, and cilantro, flame grilled, then lightly basted with in-house prepared teriyaki sauce. The juicy and not overly sauced chicken comes served with steamed sticky rice and some pickled ginger.

A new experience, bibimbop is a Korean term meaning “mixed with rice.” A bowl of warm sizzling rice is topped with seasoned, sauteed vegetables. In this version, the dish contains shredded carrots, yellow squash, green onions, spinach, mushrooms, and bean sprouts, plus a choice of protein. We choose grilled beef ribeye. To complete the dish, an egg perfectly prepared sunny-side-up is laid over the vegetables. Our server then instructs us to stir everything together before eating. A spicy red pepper sauce is served on the side for mixing in with the bibimbop—providing a nice kick but not too much heat.

We always finish Diva lunches with several desserts, but the restaurant has only ice cream selections today. Mochi Ice Cream in an assortment of flavors—we select mango and red bean. A small scoop of ice cream is encased in a wrapper made from rice flour, then frozen. For serving, the balls are cut into quarters, beautifully presented on a tray, and lightly drizzled with chocolate sauce. Not only is the dessert pretty to look at, it is also refreshingly good tasting—which perfectly describes our experience at Uni Sushi. Beautiful ambiance, and great tasting food.

Uni Sushi

Opening times
Lunch: 11:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m.
Dinner:  5:00 p.m. – 10:00 p.m.
1410 Avenue K, Downtown Plano


Each month the Dining Divas, Managing Editor Cindy Boykin and Food Editor Barbara Walch, invite a guest to share their culinary adventures.

On this occasion, the Dining Divas invited City of Plano Fire Chief Sam Greif (pronounced Grife) to be their guest. Although not a fan of sushi personally, Chief Greif was extremely impressed with the selection of dishes we sampled, especially the dumplings, chicken teriyaki, and bibimbop. He regaled us with stories about his fire station cooking “experiences” in his early years. One thing he learned the hard way, don’t boil pork chops! Chief Greif, a graduate of the University of Texas Arlington with a Master of Public Administration, became Plano’s Fire Chief in August.