If you want to talk about wild sushi, consider the Red Rock roll ($12) served at Wild Sushi, which opened two years ago in Fort Worth.
This roll was a behemoth, a massive construction standing at least 8 inches tall on the plate, with rice, fish and "exploding sauces," as the menu says. It was easily big enough to serve as dinner on its own, with crunchy tempura shrimp, moist shredded crab meat (the imitation kind), cucumber and avocado, all drizzled with a quintet of sauces that include spicy red sauce, chipotle mayo and soy. Could it get any wilder than this?
How about the chicken-fried Cali roll ($7)? It's a regular California roll, filled with crab salad and cream cheese, then dipped in batter and deep-fried for a real Texas twist. As if that weren't enough, it is drizzled with sweet soy and spicy mayo. Sushi purists would be horrified, but there was something naughtily delicious about the thing, with its contrasting textures of soft rice and crunchy crust.
But purists get their due, too, thanks to a menu of regular sushi in the nigiri version, with raw fish perched on a knob of rice; or sashimi-style, the raw fish alone. For the freshest selection, choose from the list of specials posted on a chalkboard on the wall.
White tuna sushi ($4) was a stunning option, with thin rectangles of incredibly soft white fish draped languorously over the rice. It had everything you would want in sushi: fresh-tasting fish that has been skillfully cut so that there are no tough fibers to interfere with the smoothness of the fish; and rice that is moist and soft, yet a little chewy. A thin smear of wasabi between the fish and rice added some welcome personality and heat.
Wild Sushi has a wide selection of entrees that run from standards such as chicken teriyaki ($10) to more inventive dishes such as the mango curry tilapia ($12), a white fillet topped with spicy coconut curry sauce and slices of fresh mango; and the walnut shrimp ($12), which pairs jumbo shrimp with crispy caramelized walnuts.
Wild Sushi is also vegetarian-friendly, with options such as braised Japanese tofu with a medley of vegetables ($8). And it has a number of intriguing desserts that you don't usually find at sushi restaurants, such as cupcakes and creme brulee.
The restaurant comes from Tuck Thean, who previously co-owned the highly rated Eden Bistro in Southlake, which has since closed. Eden Bistro had a lovely decor and so does Wild Sushi, with swanky lighting fixtures and Danish-modern-style furniture. Even the vessel in which they serve sake ($11) is cool: It's a hollowed-out bamboo log that has been painted a soothing grass-green and fashioned into a carafe, with accompanying bamboo cups. Pretty wild.