Sunday, April 17, 2011

Dragon King's Daughter

The Dragon King's Daughter from the parable in the Lotus Sutra is the first woman in Buddhism to attain enlightenment, and it's no surprise Toki Masubuchi picked it as the name of the restaurant she opened to serve as the international cousin to Maido, which has sushi only. She was seeking to open a spot with international offerings set off by a Japanese flare. We went tonight and were greeted by pleasant staff who seated us immediately, as it wasn't very crowded at 5 o'clock on a Sunday for an early dinner. Our waiter let us choose where to sit, and we opted for a table by the large open windows. We thought about sitting outside at one of the two patio tables on the sidewalk but wanted to get a good feel for the ambiance of the restaurant. We immediately agreed the atmosphere is relaxed and super-cool. Our server provided great, friendly service throughout. First, he brought us a bottle of water for the table with no ice, which Beth noted gave off a European feel. This impression also carries with it a pub-like vibe. With an array of boldly colored walls and a mix of different chairs, the decor was trendy without being pretentious. A series by a local artist was featured across the restaurant and was quite striking (see the photo). Our chairs were wooden and could have been a bit more comfortable, however, we noticed other tables had ones with cushioned seats. We should've traded up.

Michael was up for tacos, so that was a must, and we decided on the Ginger Chicken kind, which came with three soft corn tortillas filled with ginger sauteed chicken, diced and topped with green onions. Michael thought the green onions were a little scarce, but Beth had no complaints. A waitress Beth had there prior to tonight was very enthusiastic about suggesting the wasabi sour cream to go along with them. We were happy we took her tip, because we agreed this added the perfect blend of flavor, an overt spiced up kick to go along with the ginger. In fact, one might say this sauce will "knock your socks off"... or your pants, if you're feeling extra excited. It literally opened Beth's sinuses!! We had to get sushi too, because it's us, and we're the Holladays who need their sushi fix. We chose the Dippity, which included eight rolls of salmon topped with avocado and spicy crab and roasted garlic inside. Michael felt the garlic was a great flavor not found in most rolls and is just the right amount to provide a nice zest without assaulting the palate. We also ordered the Ace roll, a basic salmon, avocado, and cucumber mix. Light and cheap at only $6. And with 8 pieces! We specifically picked this to counteract all of the other spicy stuff we ordered, and this roll did the trick.

In our sushi experience in Louisville, we've both gathered that Maido and DKD feature rolls that are a bit different than the standard at other places. Seemingly fresher and lighter, the rolls that are the signatures of these two restaurants are simple rolls done right without all the fancy trappings other spots try to employ. We picked this spot for tonight, because of its unique diversity not found at any other Japanese place in town that we know of. If you want not only sushi, you can also get flat breads, quesidillas, and tacos.

The prices are pretty standard for a sushi place -- far cheaper than Sapporo and a little more expensive than Oishii -- with a range of $5 to $14, and the other meals don't exceed $10. The seasonal beer list is typical in terms of size, but provides a diverse selection, and some good craft local options too. Michael got a glass of wine, and the list is also good. He got the Seven Deadly Zins, an excellent Zinfandel he's been meaning to try. Other notably good brands were also included. Overall, we highly recommend the Dragon King's Daughter for those looking for some sushi and more!

Just remember at your next Holladay Platter, when you are being cornered by three of your great aunts who are hounding you with personal questions like, "Why are you still single?!?" and the only wine they have to take the edge off is white zin, you can always make a hasty escape with your bro/sis and enjoy a great meal. Until next time... live to eat!


  1. Also home to the "Caleb Don't Hurt 'Em" roll. I like this place. And to add to this "pub-like vibe", isn't there actually a bar in the back?

  2. Super delayed response. Yes, there is a bar, though I don't think many go there solely for drinking.

  3. Might have to go here - the european flair, a more diverse menu, and perhaps an atmosphere that surpasses oishi's!