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Leslie Brenner Says Uchi's Food Has 'Taken a Dive'

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Once five stars, Uchi now only has three.

Uchi Kyla Davidson/EDFW
Amy McCarthy is a staff writer at, focusing on pop culture, policy and labor, and only the weirdest online trends.

When Uchi made its Dallas debut, Dallas Morning News critic Leslie Brenner was pretty excited. In her first review of the restaurant, Brenner awarded Chef Junior Borges an impressive five stars. Borges would depart just days later, and apparently, things have gone downhill from there.

In a follow-up review of the restaurant this week, Brenner downgraded Uchi by two stars due in large part to poorly executed service. The food didn’t fare much better. Check out Brenner’s take on a foie gras dish:

Shaved, underseasoned frozen foie gras -- rich and relentless -- looked like a bowl of moist, pink sawdust. Where were the Fuji apples and walnuts the menu promised? Hard to find them. This was like eating a big bowl of butter curls, a sad waste of foie.

Ouch. Three stars, and Brenner rescinds her recommendation that Uchi is “hands down” the best sushi bar in town.

Over at the Dallas Observer, critic Brian Reinhart checked out the newly-reopened Monkey King Noodle Co., and found that (fortunately) not much has changed since the former noodle shack moved into its shiny new Deep Ellum home. That said, the soup dumplings were less-than-stellar:

Speaking of broth, the celebrated soup dumplings, or xiao long bao, pose a problem for Monkey King ($8). The broth is mild-mannered and underseasoned, without the savory intensity of the pork dumplings. More worryingly, about half of the soup dumplings arrived busted on two Observer visits, with the soup inside already spilling across the tray. That’s a big disappointment.

Elsewhere, D Magazine reviewed Taboo Lounge, a place where your “coolest, most artistic friends would hang out.” You can also apparently enjoy a cocktail of contradictions called The Naked Shakespeare, a “gothic-looking fruity rum drink.”