I haven’t been inspired to write much lately, but I still know how to enjoy a meal.
And Little Lilly Sushi in Fort Worth makes that so very easy. From the moment I step over the threshold it feels as though I’ve been transported off of Camp Bowie and into another world. Little Lilly is an intimate restaurant with a warm atmosphere that immediately puts me at ease. The waitress with the sweet smile greets my husband and I, asking if we’d prefer one of the few tables available or a seat at the sushi bar, and something inside of me is released. I am content.
Behind the sushi bar stands Jesus Garcia, Head Chef Extraordinaire. This is the heart of the restaurant, where the magic happens, and undoubtedly where we want to be. He remembers us from our previous visits, greeting us with a smile. We take our seats and look over the drink menu, eavesdropping on the conversation he’s having with another couple. Lucas and I share a smile, because Jesus is so easy to talk to and the conversation is alway always always about food. We order a bottle of Ginga Shizuku Sake and continue to listen as they discuss restaurants in Houston’s Chinatown.
Jesus breaks away to tell us about the specials, which are on a board just barely out of our line of sight. Today they have Otoro (Fatty Tuna), along with Mussels Steamed in Hitachino Nest White Ale served with Togarashi Herb Salted Fries. And a special roll, called Devil’s Breath. I am particularly intrigued by that last one. We clink our sake glasses in a toast, place our order and sit back to wait patiently for the delicious meal coming our way.
First is the Squid Salad, one of my absolute favorite squid dishes. Most people are used to eating their squid fried, but this is a cold boiled salad mixed with kikurage mushrooms and then perfectly seasoned with a touch of sesame oil. The texture is chewy, yet tender, fresh and satisfying.
From there we move on to the sushi. One mind-blowingly exquisite bite after the next.
Hamachi (Japanese Yellowtail):
Ebi (Steamed Indian Black Tiger Shrimp)
Hamadai (Red Snapper)
Masunosuke (New Zealand King Salmon) – Incredible. The couple next to us ordered chunks of this for their dessert. I’m not kidding.
Otoro (Fatty Tuna) Sweet Jesus! <– yeah, yeah, couldn’t help myself
Devil’s Breath Roll (Ghost Pepper Tuna and Asparagus topped with Habanero Smelt Roe). Basically I ate all of this while Lucas watched me go spice high crazy. I love Habanero Smelt Roe more than … well, just about anything.
But the very best thing? We could go back tomorrow and have an entirely different experience, albeit equally amazing. This is a restaurant that is continually offering new things and doing a damn good job of it. Ramen, Uni, even Turkey-Pumpkin Gyoza. On one visit we had giant Puget Sound oysters. On another we were given a fried fish head to pick at (yes I ate an eyeball). Jesus is quite aware of my fish egg obsession and once created an entire meal around them for me. I could go on and on, but I won’t. I will just recommend you put yourself in their hands and enjoy!
https://twitter.com/LittleLillySush (follow them on twitter for updates on the latest offerings)