Sushi By Scratch Restaurants
The folks that originally founded Sushi Bar in Austin left, for reasons unbeknownst to us, and started a new concept out in the middle of nowhere (OK, it’s at the Lost Pines Resort close to Bastrop), in a hotel that feels a little like a haunted old Hill Country estate. It’s an odd backdrop for an omakase, but if anything it speaks to the more elusive, speakeasy nature of the 16-18 course dinner here. On arrival, you’ll be greeted with a welcome cocktail in a large lobby, where you can occupy the next few minutes playing shuffleboard or taking in the sights of the pine forest outside (guess they're not so lost). Eventually, everyone gets ushered into a small private dining room with a host of chefs and a display board listing out the fish.
While you can expect a few pieces of classic sushi, you’ll also find a lot of bites like torched whelk nigiri topped with beet mustard, lemon juice, and quinoa. It’s not traditional at all, but it’s not really trying to be. Despite an almost-chaotic list of ingredients of powders, salts, and oils, the bites here feel thought out. And while these toppings can, at times, overpower the fish, the end result is still a tasty bite. If you want the original pioneers in “new-wave nigiri” (their words), this is where you’ll want to head.
photo credit: Nicolai McCrary