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Edohana 2.0 makes the Hulen traffic bearable

Posted 9:42am on Wednesday, Sep. 05, 2012

Impossible to count: The times we have yearned for a place offering inexpensive sushi. Finally, it's arrived, and it comes with a pedigree.

Edohana Sushi has been among my preferred choices for Japanese dining since the first one in Fort Worth opened near City View, in southwest Fort Worth, several years ago. One of the first sushi options in town, Edohana expanded to open locations in Grapevine, Flower Mound and Dallas, as well as the charming little shop in the Tanglewood area on Hulen.

It's the latter I've frequented most often with friends, enjoying the various rolls - especially those with cucumber exteriors, when opting out of the rice version - as well as nigiri sushi and the occasional sashimi or rice bowl.

So I was a bit alarmed to see the Hulen store closed for a bit, until word came that it was simply for remodeling. The owners, prompted by the stall in traffic imposed by the endless work on the Hulen bridge, shut down to revamp the place. Now it's a fast-casual concept that dropped prices quite pleasantly.

Ordering at the counter from either changing blackboard specials or from the printed menu enhanced by colorful photos of the dishes, you pay up front, collect your drinks from the self-service area at the rear of the shop and claim a seat at a booth or table.

Before long, plates of sushi, bento boxes or bowls of teriyaki arrive at your table, dispensed by smiling, solicitous servers eager to know if you're enjoying your visit so far. While you're eating, you're bound to notice a steady stream of customers stopping in for take-out, as well.

Since the format change took place this summer, I've visited several times at lunch. Each time, I've been pleased with the low prices and quickness, as well as the variety of offerings. Combination sushi offerings ($8.95-$10.95) offer more than enough for the midday meal, with the most diverse consisting of five pieces of nigiri sushi (tuna shrimp, salmon, eel and yellowtail), four slices of California roll and six small rolls known as tekka (tuna) and maki (cucumber), the latter wrapped in a seaweed exterior.

Bento boxes ($7.95-$10.95) provide the greatest food variety, with combinations such as tuna and shrimp nigiri sushi, California roll, shrimp tempura, teriyaki chicken, rice and salad. My only complaint with the one I had on the last visit was that the chicken was overcooked and the tempura didn't have the feather-light exterior I crave.

If you're strictly a roll fiend, there are more than 20 choices on the menu, from spicy tuna ($4.95 for eight pieces) and rainbow, which combines salmon, tuna, shrimp, crab stick, avocado and cucumber ($7.50 for eight) pieces to the deluxe Tango Roll, with crab and shrimp interior and salmon and avocado atop, drizzled in a spicy cream sauce ($8.50).

If you just feel like a few snacks, gyoza ($3.50), shumai ($3.50) and edamame ($3.95) are among appetizer choices. A long list of party trays is available, too.

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