During the COVID-19 quarantine, restaurant owners have grappled with bleeding sales and limited food resources. Quarantine is easing slowly, but as it stands now, restaurants are still only open 50 percent, and bars are barely open at all. Besides, one can’t snap one’s fingers and replace two months of revenue just like that.
This post is the first in a series honoring those passionate local restaurants who have fought to stay afloat with creative curbside solutions and, even in the worst of circumstances, retained their impeccable standards. Thank you for keeping my spirits up, my inner foodie curious, and my refrigerator from depressing me.
The first restaurant I ventured out to during quarantine was Ebesu Sushi and Robata. They came out of the gate almost immediately with bento box specials that they are still running to encourage carry-out orders. The bento boxes are incredibly generous and Ebesu is offering a 20 percent discount if you call the order in directly to the restaurant.
Ebesu is still relatively new on the scene, a concept that comes straight from Japan. The downtown location is the first in the U.S. In a previous article, I praised their Japanese snapper sashimi, topped with the barest hint of cerrano, as well as the artful serving of sliced Kurobuta pork jowl, fanned on a block of pink Himilayan salt.
Usually when I visit restaurants for the food section of our magazine, I’m doing it from the comfort of a booth, accompanied by a photographer, or joined by the chef so we can discuss their culinary vision. It’s a little different to sit at my own table, fending off a dog with my elbow and a cat with my chopsticks just to get down one slice of yellowtail.
They serve it tightly wrapped for sanitation reasons and warn you to be careful with the double-wrapped container of miso soup on the drive home. After unwrapping it all—the plastic bag is given to the cat as a distraction—I open the culinary equivalent of a jewelry box.
Sashimi, hamachi, tuna, and salmon, coils like a blossom. Easily spritzed with lemon and dipped in soy sauce, it’s refreshing and cool after miso soup. Every box faithfully comes with two little pork gyoza, Japanese pan-fried dumplings, nestled in with seaweed salad sprinkled with sesame seed. The house salad is garnished with bright, citrusy ginger salad dressing. On one side, a California roll sits pretty, surrounded by marinated ginger and wasabi.
All bento boxes have the same accompaniments; the only change is the entree, but other entrees include salmon teriyaki, sakura pork, and a DIY Temaki box that certainly requires further exploration. It’s under $20 even before the call-in discount.
Good things come to those who don a mask and support their local restaurants.
1007 E. 15th St., Plano | 972.212.4564 | ebesu-usa.com