First Bite: New Sugar Land Restaurant Takara Sushi & Asian Bistro Offers Wide-Ranging Menu
Takara Sushi & Asian Bistro, located in Sugar Land at 15830 Southwest Freeway, started its soft opening last week and has its official grand opening planned for later this month. This is the second location of Takara; the first is in the north Austin suburb of Cedar Park.
The new restaurant is in the former Azuma space of the Lake Pointe Shopping Center, boasting lakeside views visible from both the enclosed side patio and inside dining room. Patrons of the former tenant will feel at home, as many of Azuma’s core decorating elements remain, but there are also interesting new features. Takara has turned the bar to face the sushi bar and main dining room, which brightens the area and makes it feel more open. Other new additions noted: a white, sand-filled zen garden under the stairs and new patio furniture outside.
On the first visit with my daughter, our focus was on the raw menu. We started with the Takara Ahi Tartare, which is composed of wild Hawaiian Ahi tuna with lime-infused fresh avocado and a truffle-ginger balsamic drizzle. The presentation was similar to a simple tuna tower but still very fresh and flavorful.
We ordered three rolls from the specialty menu: the Toro Ichiban, El Latino and the Spying Ninja, which arrived plated together. The Toro Ichiban roll was made from fatty Bluefin Tuna laid over yellowtail, avocado, masago and scallion, then drizzled with jalapeño-ginger sauce. The El Latino consisted of fresh salmon, tuna, yellowtail and serrano topped with avocado and sriracha-cilantro ponzu. The Spying Ninja was filled with tuna, avocado and cucumber, topped half with yellowtail, half with salmon and then finished with green tobiko in an orange spice-unagi aioli.
The final course for our first visit was thinly sliced New York Strip Carpaccio served medium-rare and topped with housemade, sizzling sesame-olive reduction, lemon slices, balsamic teriyaki, minced ginger and scallions. This dish was a savory, satisfying end to the meal.
My next trip was with my husband, and it involved delving more into Takara’s fried, seared and sautéed items. We started with two appetizers: Coconut Prawns and Crispy Green Beans. The prawns come three to an order and are served with mango-dijon dipping sauce, while the more generously portioned green beans are flash-fried with garlic and served with mandarin aioli.
For the next course, we ordered Thai Basil Seafood Soup, which features a very aromatic, tom yum-style broth laden with shrimp, squid, mussel and lime. This was easily shared between two people as an appetizer and could also be a large meal for one. Noodles can be added for $2 to make the dish even more filling.
Our final course was the House Lo Mein, ordered with both chicken and beef. This dish was a classic blend of slightly sweet, savory and salty flavors from soy sauce, garlic, ginger, cabbage and carrots.
The House Specialty portion of the menu was unavailable during the first days of the soft opening. I am looking forward to returning for the Hibachi-Style Lobster Tail and Veggies and the baby lamb chops. Other cooked menu items are chicken katsu, coconut curry and bulgogi.
Every Wednesday is “Winesday’, and all bottle purchases are 50% off. Takara has a full bar and, after the grand opening, will have a happy hour with special pricing on select food and drink items Monday through Friday from 3 to7 p.m. and all night on Tuesday. Call Takara at (832) 939-8983 for more information or to make reservations. (There does not yet seem to be a dedicated website or Facebook page for the new Sugar Land location.)