Galleria sushi spot focuses on freshness

When Southwest Austin resident Shawn McClain traveled to Omiya, Japan, for a vacation about nine years ago, he didn't speak a word of the Japanese language.

During his four-year stay, he managed a bar and learned as much as he could about Japanese food.

"[The food] is awesome; I love it," he said.

After returning to Austin, he became business partners with Jenna Kim, with whom he has operated Izumi Sushi & Grill Restaurant for about five years. In 2013 the pair decided to open a second restaurant, Tadashi, 12820 Hill Country Blvd., Ste. E-105, Bee Cave, to give Austin another option for traditional sushi with American fusion.

"We feature a live and wild [fish] list that's a little bit more extensive than other places," McClain said, noting that three times a week Tadashi picks up fresh wild and live fish from the airport.

Tadashi offers weekly specials, some of which have turned into regular menu items, such as the sliced raw bigeye tuna served with goat cheese, pumpkinseed oil and spicy miso, he said.

Popular entrees include the miso-glazed black cod. The most popular appetizer is cooked wild game gyoza made with ostrich, bison and venison, he said. The business offers a variety of sushi rolls; sashimi, or sliced raw fish; and nigiri, which is raw fish served atop rice.

Tadashi also offers a variety of noodle dishes including Nabeyaki udon, a soup with noodles, fresh vegetables and poached egg served with a side of shrimp tempura.

The restaurant's clientele is a mix of families and couples, McClain said, and his goal is for them to see sushi in a new light.

"I want people to experience a nice meal," he said. "I want them to have a meal that they've never had before in terms of sushi quality, kitchen quality and service quality, too."

Raw options

The Sushi Lover lunch special ($11–$14) includes five pieces of assorted nigiri, three pieces of tempura roll, and one sushi roll such as the Rainbow Roll.

Ceviche ($12) features mangoes, pomegranate, onions, tangerine, and a choice of raw salmon or tuna.

Belly trio ($24) comes with assorted tuna, salmon and yellowtail belly sashimi, featuring flavors including roasted garlic.

Cooked foods

Nabeyaki udon ($14) soup features noodles in broth made with vegetables and a poached egg, served with shrimp tempura.

The restaurant's miso-glazed black cod ($25) comes with grilled mixed vegetables.

Chilean seabass ($24) is topped with miso, eryngii mushrooms and grilled asparagus.

The chicken teriyaki bento box ($19) comes with miso soup, popcorn shrimp, vegetable tempura, gyoza, a California roll, steamed rice and the restaurant's daily special appetizer.

Sushi secrets

Tadashi co-owner Shawn McClain learned a few things about sushi from living in Japan and working in a Japanese bar.

His tips for sushi first-timers include:

  • Use just a dollop of the wasabi. "[Chefs] want you to taste the fish," he said, noting this is the traditional Japanese way to incorporate the condiment.

  • Flip over the nigiri. When eating nigiri, sliced raw fish on top of rice, flip the piece over so that the fish—not the rice—hits the tongue first.

  • Don't jump around the plate. "My chef will be watching people while he's making the nigiri, and he'll look to see if the person is left-handed or right-handed," he said. The chef will then place the fish on the plate in the order he wants diners to taste them.

Tadashi, 12820 Hill Country Blvd., Ste. E-105, 512-263-3200, www.tadashiaustin.com

  • Mon.–Thu. 11 a.m.–9:30 p.m.

  • Fri. 11 a.m.–10 p.m.

  • Sat. noon–10 p.m.

  • Sun. 5–9 p.m.

By Kelli Weldon
Kelli joined Community Impact Newspaper as a reporter and has been covering Southwest Austin news since July 2012. She was promoted to editor of the Southwest Austin edition in April 2015. In addition to covering local businesses, neighborhood development, events, transportation and education, she is also the beat reporter covering the Travis County Commissioners Court.


The regional blood bank appealed for further donations in the wake of the June 12 shooting in downtown Austin. (Courtesy We Are Blood)
We Are Blood appeals for blood donations following weekend shooting in downtown Austin

The Central Texas nonprofit also said its blood supply remains depleted due to decreased donations through the COVID-19 pandemic.

Austin City Council's Housing and Planning Committee met virtually June 15. (Screenshot via City of Austin)
Austin City Council members, city Realtors talk housing market increases and affordability

The median sale price of Austin homes surged past $500,000 through the first five months of 2021.

Izzy is one of the 20 dogs in need of an emergency foster home. (Courtesy Austin Pets Alive)
Austin Pets Alive seeks emergency foster homes for dogs recovering from distemper

The Bastrop County Animal Shelter and Austin Pets Alive are seeking homes within the next 48 hours for 20 dogs facing euthanasia.

Home prices continue to increase, according to local real estate data. (Courtesy Adobe Stock)
Lake Travis-Westlake home sales spike 67.7% in May, housing inventory reaches critical low

The region’s median sale price increased 34.8% year-over-year to $822,500.

Community groups painted "Black Austin Matters" along three blocks of Congress Avenue in 2020. Juneteenth, an official city of Austin holiday as of 2020, commemorates the day Black residents of Texas found out they were free from slavery in 1865. (Community Impact Newspaper staff)
Juneteenth in Austin: Parade and fireworks information, other community events, city closures

The holiday commemorates the day Black enslaved residents of Texas were told they were free in Galveston in 1865.

Plans to move forward with the design of a new Travis County women's jail have been postponed indefinitely. (Ben Thompson/Community Impact Newspaper)
Travis County pauses plans to build new women's jail

Commissioners voted unanimously to postpone any design or construction of new jail facilities for at least a year while staff re-evaluate the Travis County correctional system's needs.

Joseph Chacon, interim chief of the Austin Police Department, gives an update on Austin's recent move into the second phase of Proposition B camping ban enforcement June 15 alongside Homeless Strategy Officer Dianna Grey and City Manager Spencer Cronk. (Ben Thompson/Community Impact Newspaper)
Austin Proposition B enforcement shifts from education to warnings

Austin officials on June 15 provided an update on enforcement and outreach work by city staff and the Austin Police Department with the second phase of Proposition B camping ban enforcement now underway.

CesiumAstro will expand its Austin headquarters with a new 29,000-square-foot facility. (Courtesy CesiumAstro)
Aerospace company CesiumAstro expands Bee Cave HQ, announces mission to space

CesiumAstro recently announced its first mission to space, which will take place in September.

Photo of Moderna vaccine vials on a table
50% of Travis County residents fully vaccinated against COVID-19

Travis County has reached a milestone in COVID-19 vaccinations.

The Lake Travis Film Festival shortlist party was held at Music Hill Ranch in Lakeway. Founder Kat Albert announced the official film selections for the festival, which will kick off June 10. (Amy Rae Dadamo/Community Impact Newspaper)
Inaugural run and mayoral recognition: 4 events recently held in West Travis County

About 100 people showed up for the inaugural Run Through the Hive Police Memorial 5K. The race, which was held May 15 at the Hill Country Galleria, raised money for the Bee Cave Police Benevolent Foundation. The foundation offers financial aid and support to Bee Cave police officers, local public safety employees and their families during times of need. The foundation also offers a college scholarship to graduating Lake Travis High School students. (Greg Perliski/Community Impact Newspaper)

The Electric Reliability Council of Texas issued a call for Texans to conserve energy June 14. (Iain Oldman/Community Impact Newspaper)
ERCOT asks Texans to conserve energy with generation outages 2.5 times higher than normal

"This is unusual for this early in the summer season," said Woody Rickerson, ERCOT vice president of grid planning and operations, in a news release.