Monday 28 Jul

Food briefs: You’re toast, er, pretzel

There’s a new food truck on the scene.
07/22/2014 | Comments 0

Upward mobility

Locals can have fresh microgreens and herbs for cooking in a new and convenient way. Microgreens, a chef favorite, are petite vegetable greens that add color, nutrition and flavor to dishes.
07/23/2014 | Comments 0

Vietnamese comfort food

I’ve always had a love affair with the refreshing, healthy cuisine of Vietnam. I love the fragrances, the fresh herbs, cilantro, basil, mint and other Asian herbs: perilla, Vietnamese coriander and sawtooth cilantro. And I love the contrast and balance in almost every dish: spicy vs. cool, salty vs. sweet and steamed vs. crispy.
07/16/2014 | Comments 0

OKG eat: Cool places, cooler drinks

We know. It’s hot. It’s summer in Oklahoma. Cool down by sampling cocktails that local bars and restaurants have concocted just for you. Find a nice, air conditioned space or a shaded patio and while away the hours drinking the flavors of summer. You might decide it’s not that bad after all.

— by Devon Green, photos by Mark Hancock, Shannon Cornman and Lauren Hamilton

07/23/2014 | Comments 0

New kids on the block

There are a wealth of new local eateries cropping up in the metro and even more coming. If they’re not on your radar, they should be. From the comfy atmosphere at The Barrel on Western Avenue to the laid-back vibe at the Plaza District’s coffee shop, you might find a new regular hangout.

— by Devon Green, photos by Mark Hancock and Shannon Cornman

07/16/2014 | Comments 0


Ah, the perils of working with special dietary needs. It can make dining out a pain. Luckily, with restaurateurs becoming more savvy to their diners’ needs, there are a bevy of places in OKC to satisfy your craving for the foods you love without losing taste. All choices this week have been road-tested by gluten-sensitive foodies to guarantee satisfaction.
07/09/2014 | Comments 0
Home · Articles · Food · Restaurant Reviews · Shawn’s secret
Restaurant Reviews

Shawn’s secret

Sushi doesn’t have to be fancy

Greg Elwell June 20th, 2012

Shawn's Sushi
5612 Northwest Expressway

What works: Inexpensive, but still tasty.
What needs work: The wait time, especially for to-go orders, is approaching unreasonable.
Tips: Albacore loin. For reals. You’ll thank me later.

Credit: Mark Hancock

 It’s all the same fish. Can we agree on that?

There has been a sushi explosion — figurative, not literal — in Oklahoma City over the last decade. There are lots of places that will gladly roll strips of raw fish with strips of vegetables inside a blanket of rice and seaweed.

But nobody has fresh fish.

Nobody caught that tuna today at Tenkiller and brought it over to Oklahoma City for your nigiri. That salmon/shrimp/eel you’re eager to devour was frozen at some point. That happened.

And you know what? It’s fine.

We’re a lot better at freezing and defrosting things than we used to be. But if you think that the fish is superior from shop to shop, you’re mostly fooling yourself. The food may vary, depending on the skill and artistry of the chefs, but that’s true of any cuisine.

With that in mind, I invite you to consider a restaurant whose name does not inspire confidence in traditional Japanese cooking, but does the job, regardless: Shawn’s Sushi.

Shawn’s began its life as a parttime business run out of the Kolache Kitchen. So, yeah, Shawn’s Sushi is a big improvement over “Sushi at the Kolache Kitchen.” But the draw is still the same: pretty good sushi for a little cheaper than you’ll find it elsewhere.

The rolls are standard. The Tootsie ($4.50) is good. So is the Crazy Cajun ($11.99). There are several rolls with fried components, but lots of them are fresh and raw and tasty, the way Yojimbo, god of sushi, commands.

I’m never quite sure what the “standard” ingredients of a Philly roll ($4.95) are supposed to be, but cream cheese and salmon are always tasty, so it doesn’t really matter. At Shawn’s, the third component is asparagus, which makes me happy. No offense if you’re one of those who prefer cucumber in a Philly roll, but you’re wrong and you should feel bad about yourself.

Most of the rolls with lots of sauces on them blend together. Which is probably why I most enjoy the sushi that has the least amount of dressing: nigiri. And at Shawn’s, my favorites are mackerel ($4.50) and albacore loin ($5).

If you hate fish that tastes like fish, please don’t bother with mackerel. It’s salty and firm and it tastes like fish. Personally, I like fish, so I keep ordering it. The albacore loin is less pungent, but equally delicious. I think it has a slightly sweeter flavor than regular tuna

(although I’m happy eating both).

Shawn’s gyoza ($4.95) are tasty little dumplings, but nothing to write home about. (But writing and sending to my boss are OK.) They’re a little chewy, which is better than being so tender they fall apart.

The sushi is Shawn’s main draw, but they have another set of dishes I highly recommend: the house-made noodles. These are thick, delicious noodle dishes that are filling and perfect for that one person in the party who doesn’t like sushi. The best, in my estimation, is the teriyaki chicken noodle ($7.99).

If you’re looking for fancy, keep looking. Shawn’s Sushi sells sushi that tastes good, looks fine and costs a little less than competitors. Because the thing I value most in a sushi restaurant is their ability to serve me sushi. Everything else is window dressing.

Oklahoma Gazette’s restaurant review policy is to highlight the positive aspects, and include constructive criticism regarding food, ambience or service when appropriate.

  • Currently 3.5/5 Stars.
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