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Review: Lohas Teriyaki in Irving

Lohas Teriyaki 3981 N. Belt Line Road, Irving 972-870-5988 www.lohasteriyaki.com Hours: 11 a.m.-9:30 p.m. Monday through Saturday; noon-9 p.m. Sunday

Posted 6:44pm on Tuesday, Mar. 20, 2012

Indie restaurants love branding themselves as healthy alternatives to the unhealthy, corporate-driven chains of arterial destruction, and Lohas Teriyaki in Irving is no different. Its name, Lohas, is taken from the acronym for "Lifestyle of Health and Sustainability."

The place falls under the Asian fusion umbrella, with a menu of teriyaki dishes, noodles, fried rice, yakitori (Japanese-style skewers) and even some sushi.

There's nothing overly exotic about it: From the California roll ($6.25) to the tempura shrimp roll ($8.95) and chicken yaki roll ($7.15), they're all very palate-friendly.

We tried the decorative beef yaki roll ($7.15), which includes cucumber and carrots, and enjoyed not only its artistic presentation but its creamy combination of avocado sauce, spicy mayo and wasabi sauce.

The teriyaki plates seem to be the healthiest on the menu, served with steamed rice, slaw and steamed vegetables. There are more than 20 teriyaki options to choose from, including spicy pork ($7.75), shrimp ($8.50) and tofu ($7.95).

The chicken teriyaki ($7.25), a popular plate at Lohas, includes chargrilled chicken covered in sweet teriyaki -- a solid choice, although tame in comparison to the presentation and flavor of the sushi.

The honey chili shrimp ($8.75), however, are sweet and fiery; I was strangely drawn to those crunchy little shrimp, which are served with fried rice.

A lot of the ingredients are similar from dish to dish but vary in presentation -- on a plate, in a bowl, with sauce, no sauce and so on.

The teriyaki bowls, for example, include green onions and steamed rice, and range from the vegetarian-friendly tofu veggie bowl ($5.50) to the livelier spicy chicken bowl ($5.75).

The bulgogi beef bowl ($6.50) is another option, a Korean-style dish served with marinated beef. It's a bit salty and not as tender as the chicken in the chicken teriyaki plate but still quite enjoyable.

Our favorite menu item is the cheese chicken katsu ($6.50): slices of juicy chicken covered in mozzarella, fried, on top of rice. With that combination of ingredients, who wouldn't scarf it down? The only downside is you will want double the portion size.

The katsu is served with katsu sauce, a spicy, tangy dipping condiment similar to ketchup. We agreed it would go well with almost any dish.

We also agreed that, considering the extensive menu of just about everything Asian at Lohas Teriyaki, we'd return for future visits. There's just way too much to try on just a couple of visits. Plus it's fast, fresh and inexpensive.

And yes, it's far better than the fast-food chains of arterial destruction.

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