In celebration of finishing art comprehensive exams, Elizabeth and I, along with a couple friends, searched for a cheap happy hour with delicious food. The search led us to Kenichi, a Japanese sushi restaurant inside W Dallas Victory Hotel.
According to the restaurant’s website, Kenichi was voted to have the “Best Sushi in Dallas” by Citysearch for three consecutive years. While normally out of a college student’s price range, Kenichi’s bar area serves happy hour drink and food specials from 5:30-7 p.m. daily. Battling traffic, we worried we would not find parking downtown. Luckily, a parking garage a short walk away provides free parking for the first two hours.
In order to receive the happy hour specials, we sat at the high tables near the bar at the entrance of the restaurant. Modern decorating and dim lighting created a fancy ambiance. The happy hour specials include $5 well drinks and $3 domestic beers. Other signature cocktails are also on special at varying prices, but mostly under $10. The bartender, Eddy, gave very helpful advice and made the drinks quickly and precisely. We all settled on a Cosmopolitan blanco, served in a short-fluted martini glass that prevented the precarious spills of a traditional martini glass.
Since none of our group could decide on any single food item, we ordered several dishes and shared buffet style. Our wonderful waitress, Katie, helped us decide on the fried rice, dynamite (tempura) shrimp, fried calamari and their signature sushi rolls, the Mavs and Stars.
Ginger enhanced the fried rice, giving a unique quality to an otherwise typical rice-and-vegetable dish. The dynamite shrimp, my favorite dish, included tempura fried tiger shrimp, masago aioli and Kenichi’s own Kenichi teriyaki. We all agreed that the fried calamari was among the best we had ever tasted. Both the Mavs and Stars rolls were well balanced in flavor, maintaining the lightness of the dish.
This restaurant is the perfect spot for the beginning of a girls’ night out, a quick bite and drink before a downtown show or sporting event, or simply for post-exam rejoicing.
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2400 Victory Park Lane
Dallas, TX 75219
Phone: (214) 871-8883
Hours: Open nightly at 5:30 p.m.