That was quick: Yesterday brought about the opening of restaurateur-chef Tyson Cole and his Hai Hospitality group’s new accessory bar Uchibā, an upstairs fixture to Uchi that replaced Top Knot in as a little as two weeks. (What’s the record for flipping a place in Dallas, anyway?) This Maple Ave. spot is but one part of a series of expansions coming to the state of Texas over 2018, with the restaurant group’s eyes set on Denver and Austin for more project.
Uchibā then seems like a no-brainer, as it complements the upscale downstairs restaurant with its own full sushi bar and yakitori grill, as promised. Directed by chef de cuisine Alex Astranti, the new location which will be serving the likes of wagyu short rib meatballs and pork belly skewers on the grill, and fresh fish selections like tuna loin and Japanese sea bream, among others. That’s combined with some favorite dishes from Uchi downstairs, such as the machi cure (smoked yellowtail with yucca chips) or the hirame uzusukuri (thinly-sliced ﬂounder in candied quinoa and olive oil).
Most importantly, don’t forget it’s a bar: A selection of Japanese whiskeys and a list of eight cocktails are being made available that incorporate these spirits alongside an array of ingredients like like lemongrass, Thai basil, ume, hibiscus, lychee, black lime and sake.
Last but not least, interested diners should take note that this Sunday will feature a brunch service at Uchibā, offering plates like fried chicken eggs benedict, Japanese snacks like onigiri, and its own special cocktails alongside pastries and juices. There are plans to continue Top Knot’s Uncommon Ramen dinner series, but little news has been announced about the ‘old’ project’s revival just yet.
In a statement made previously, Cole had noted that many Uchi patrons were meeting at the bar for drinks and a few small dishes before settling in for a larger meal. It’s upstairs ‘sibling’ Top Knot was likely expected to service that need, but didn’t deliver; the reason as to why or how hasn’t come up in Cole’s statements. That goes double for Angela Hernandez, who was Top Knot’s chef de cuisine.
Uchibā is open from Monday to Thursday 5 p.m. to 11 p.m., Friday and Saturday 5 p.m. to midnight, and Sunday brunch running from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.