El Paso is currently experiencing another spike in Covid cases and as a result a lot of the city had to adjust their hours to accommodate the new health and safety laws. Consequently resulting in many restaurants (sadly including my favorite sushi spot) having to drastically change their operation hours. While for the most part, finding out upon arrival, that you are unable to sit down and enjoy your favorite glass of wine with your favorite bowl of miso soup isn’t ideal, there is of course a silver lining. While I didn’t recognize it as the blessing that it was in that moment, my favorite restaurant not being open meant I was forced to try something new. Or of course just take my happy butt home and eat what’s available in the fridge, but who’s really trying to do that? So hopping on Google I hit the search bar with my generic “Sushi restaurants nearby” and Ping! There’s one 1.2 miles away! Feeling slightly defeated and hungry enough to (as the expression goes) devour an entire elephant. My two sisters and I hopped into our Nissan and headed out on our mile long journey to ‘Dragonfly Wine & Sushi Bistro’.
Upon entering a quiet lobby and waiting a few moments before peering around a wall in search of a host, we were greeted by an apologetic manager explaining that their sushi chef had some sort of emergency and wasn’t in currently but was apparently on his way. He was honest in letting us know that if we chose to dine in there was a high possibility that there would be no sushi available. Seeming to be extremely stressed out and genuinely concerned with us having a good dining experience he assured us that the other non-sushi items on the menu were delicious and definitely worth the try. Not being completely dead set on sushi and the hunger getting the better of us, we decided “screw it” why not? and headed into the restaurant. The manager who has introduced himself as Jorge, offered us a choice of wherever we wanted to sit, looking around we noticed that aside from a couple at the bar, we seemed to be the only ones in the restaurant. Choosing a booth nestled into the back of a modern/chic dining room our focus quickly turned to the wine and food options spread out in front of us.
Like most restaurants at this time due to the pandemic, we were handed paper disposable menus with what I am assuming was a limited menu
Now here is where I was personally completely won over. Initially so many things went wrong (like the chef being absent, and then tragically running out of lamb, which was both of my sisters first choice in lieu of sushi) that this could have easily been an extremely unsatisfactory dining experience but Jorge himself made sure that was not the case.
After placing our orders, two orders of beef bulgogi and one order of scallops, we were treated to complimentary tempura shrimp, and tempura battered veggies compliments of Jorge’s wonderful self. And boooyyyy let me tell you was that the most delicious shrimp tempura I have ever tasted in my 27 years of life, the batter was seasoned so perfectly that the sauce that came with it was almost unnecessary. In fact it was so good, that even I (an avid avoider of all things green) had to decided I’d better try the battered vegetables. I’m sure all you non healthy eaters can understand my shock (and my sisters) when I went for another piece… and then another.
The whole atmosphere of the place had an upscale almost gourmet vibe. And Jorge made the experience feel very personal and enjoyable. The menu itself while not being too pricey, felt and tasted as close to five star as you can get without the actual five star price (however in my book, both the chefs and the manager deserve all the stars).
The plates were presented beautifully and everything was beyond fresh and flavorful. And if someone as picky as me could eat everything with no substitutions, I believe that makes a statement of its own. The best part is the sushi chef ended up making it in right on time and we ended up enjoying 2 rolls of the freshest tasting sushi I have yet to experience in El Paso. The only downside in my opinion was the fact tha we didn’t get to experience the restaurant in the way I believe it was intended to be experienced. The décor and set up didn’t quite seem to match the quiet atmosphere (probably due to the virus) though I imagine when it is live, Dragonfly Sushi is quite the place to be.
In conclusion Dragonfly Wine & Sushi Bistro deserves to be at the top of your “Must Try” lists. And Jorge needs an employee of the month plaque and a raise because his customer service skills are unmatched. We would like to personally thank you Jorge for such a wonderful and delicious dining experience. 10/10 recommend.