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Sushi Marquee, the brainchild of Brad Hawkins and Shell Shack’s Dallas Hale and Matt Saba, is one of the most lively places to eat in Frisco. Hands down. And not just because it’s at The Star in Frisco.
In a nutshell, Sushi Marquee offers quality, high-end dining courtesy of Executive Sushi Chef Gabriel Reyes, Executive Chef Johnnie Walker, celebrity chef Patrick Stark and Mixologist Anthony Morel … plus ‘80s and ‘90s pop culture and some live entertainment.
Sushi Marquee promised a good time before it opened—the only question was whether it would live up to the hype. The disco-tiled Buddha glimmers against one wall, probably the first and last giant disco-Buddha you’ll ever see. Centerstage, chefs vie for your attention underneath the huge TV screens while they present artful dishes for your Instagramming-before-eating pleasure.
Fans of the party atmosphere of Ra Sushi will like the ambiance. One of the more stunning attributes is the fish bowl serving that’s actually made of ice to keep the sushi chilled. As it melts, its shape changes. Of course, The Star Sushi Platter shape makes it iconic.
I sampled two of Anthony Morel’s cocktails, the Watermelon Ginger Margarita and Fuji Sangria. Watermelon Ginger Margarita, loaded with ginger, features ice cubes made of watermelon puree. When it first arrives, most of the watermelon flavor is still locked up in the ice cubes. But as the night wears on, the watermelon puree melts, sweetening and gentling the flavor. Or, if you’re impatient, you can crush the ice up with your straw and stir it all around. Your choice. You won’t be judged.
Fuji Sangria wins points for the flowers served inside it. Instead of the more typical tequila, it features fuji apple sake, bayou silver rum and sparkling pink sake. If you’re trying to learn to like sake, which has a distinct taste that requires some acquiring, this is the place to start, sweetened to perfection with lychee syrup.
Johnnie Walker headed up the hot food menu, about 30 percent of the food menu. Try the tender lamb lollipops that lean against each other, lightly seasoned with cilantro lime sauce. Most people don’t go for sushi expecting to find a dish like that on the menu, but it works; the meat is tender enough to eat with your hands and seasoned with a delicate hand. By all accounts it’s a wonderful surprise.
As for the Wagyu Spring Rolls, served with ponzu sauce, these are indulgent and irresistable with just a hint of cream cheese. Dynamite rock shrimp went fast thanks to their crunchy coating and umami flavors, while wasabi peas and honey yuzu vinaigrette made the Seared Ahi Tuna Salad shine. Glazed Miso Sea Bass with soba noodles was very delicate and fresh with just a hint of underlying sweetness.
But of course, it’s mostly about sushi.
Sushi Marquee offers a variety of classic rolls—your usual tuna roll, California roll and sashimi-grade salmon, yellowtail and snapper, twisted into roses too beautiful to eat or laid out in easy-to-grab layers. All fresh and flavorful, these are easy bites and perfect for light dinner or a guilt-free midnight snack. It’s naturally delicious, but Gabriel Reyes’ presentation also makes it fun and great to share.
As for more complex rolls, I’ll be back for the wilder ones like Bueller, Bueller, Kissy Suzuki and The Terminator. The Punky Brewster Roll, a riceless roll that sounded promising—cucumber wrapped salmon, snapper, shrimp, cilantro, avocado, tuna, asparagus topped with spicy ponzu and sriracha—wasn’t a show-stopper. But that was an anomaly out of an overall great experience.
With a name like Sushi Marquee, no matter how great the hot food is, if Reyes hadn’t nailed the sushi, it wouldn’t work. Thankfully, Reyes has a spot-on instinct for serving quality food with exceptional flair.
Finish with an order of Banana Nutella Spring Rolls and the house’s recommendation of a sake pairing.
Sushi Marquee is one of the most entertaining dining concepts in the area, a piece of Los Angeles nightlife that just happens to be at The Star in Frisco. It’s the only place in town where you can dine with the Dallas Cowboys, Uma Thurman and if you’re lucky, the Ninja Turtles too.
Sushi Marquee | 3625 The Star Blvd., Ste. 315, Frisco | sushimarquee.com