Best Asian Restaurant: Kemosabe Sushi & Sake
FRISCO — Names like Hot Hippie, Lone Ranger, Mr. Roboto, Mrs. Perfect might not readily bring sushi rolls to mind for some, but loyal patrons at Kemosabe Sushi & Sake would be quick to recognize them as a sampling of some of the restaurant’s sushi rolls.
If the unique names didn’t give it away, some of the ingredients found in them might help a diner understand what the restaurant’s website describes as “specialty rolls featuring modern flavor profiles.”
“We’ll throw steak on our sushi,” said sushi chef Matthew Merrill, referring to the restaurant’s All American roll, which is filled with red crab, tempura asparagus and avocado and topped with seared beef tenderloin, sweet soy and green onion oil.
While the rolls might come across as inauthentic, Kemosabe’s 2019 title as Best Asian Restaurant is just another bit of evidence that Assistant General Manager Roy Beinfest believes shows that Kemosabe is legit.
The restaurant actually started as a once-a-week specialty at Silverheels Bar & Grill but became popular enough that it was spun out into its own location next door. The restaurant has been in its own spot for 10 years.
One dish that shows the restaurant’s ability to balance traditional flavors with innovative thinking is the hamachi collar, a regular item on the specials menu. The item started with a problem: good yellowtail meat that was hard to put into a sushi dish because of the location of bones within the flesh.
“What are we going to do with this?” Beinfest said as he talked about the process of creating the dish.
The answer turned out to be making a variation of a more traditional Japanese dish: hamachi kama. The meat is cooked — bones and all — and served covered in a combination of the restaurant’s signature sauces. It has become popular enough that it’s being considered as a potential addition to the regular menu.
Besides the distinct riffs on classic Japanese dishes, Merrill and Beinfest agree on three ingredients that keep Kemosabe as a regular in Best of Summit: fresh fish, consistent product and local appeal.
Kemosabe Sushi is at 605 Main St. in Frisco.
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