The Commercial Appeal - Go Memphis
What to expect at 1-night Do Sushi pop-up
“The girls are back,” chef and restaurateur Karen Carrier said with a big smile on her face as she arranged the sushi cases on the counter at Bar DKDC.
On March 23, Carrier is hosting a pop-up of her much-missed Do Sushi at Bar DKDC. If all goes as planned, she will host a Do pop-up monthly.
One-of-a-kind maki rolls like the Kona Strawberry (crab, masago, seared walu, strawberry and sweet soy reduction) and the BLTA hand roll (teriyaki bacon, tomato, mizuna, avocado and spicy aioli) will both be back on the limited pop-up menu. So will an assortment of appetizers, sashimi dishes and noodle bowls.
“All the girls who used to roll sushi are still here,” Carrier said. “And they will be rolling sushi at the pop-up.”
Mindy Son who was the head roller at Do Sushi and now is general manager for Carrier’s entire restaurant group will be back behind the sushi bar, as will Shay Widmer who is now the chef at The Beauty Shop.
“Both of them started at Do together 16 years ago when they were just 17,” Carrier said.
Ben Pierce, who is now the daytime chef at The Beauty Shop, is one of the few men who worked at Do Sushi. He’ll be reprising his role of running the hot kitchen for Do’s cooked items again for the pop-up.
What to expect
Carrier said the pop-up will feature a limited selection of items off the original Do Sushi menu. “We picked all the heavy hitters for this first pop-up.”
Carrier said to expect five to six rolls on the menu.
In addition to the Kona Strawberry and BLTA, The Mindy (named after Mindy Son) is one she plans to feature. For this roll, Son makes a roll with spicy crawfish, cream cheese, crab stick and sesame seeds and then dips it in tempura batter and deep fries it. Eel sauce and siracha aioli add the finishing touch.
There will also be “new style” sashimi. Hamachi (yellowtail) sashimi will be served with a warm ponzu brown butter. A beef sashimi features ancho-crusted beef tenderloin sliced paper thin and served with ponzu sauce.
Expect appetizers such as edamame, crab Rangoon and Thai-style gyoza as part of the offerings.
Carrier even plans to offer two noodle bowls from Do Sushi’s daytime concept, Noodle Doodle Do.
Bobo’s Chicken Matzah Ball Pho is a ramen-version of Carrier’s mother’s soup made with noodles instead of matzah balls. A Kobe Beef Curry is the second noodle bowl, this one made with a red curry coconut broth.
A bit of history
Do Sushi was opened in 2003, one year after Carrier opened The Beauty Shop.
Originally, Carrier had a general store in the space — which is now home to Bar DKDC. She had an eclectic mix of items ranging from custom-made hats by a friend in New York City to prepared foods to Dinstuhl’s chocolates. The shop was opened for about six months before Carrier realized she needed to make a change.
“I think we were before our time,” she said of the shop.
Carrier decided to put a sushi bar in the space. “You know why? It’s because we didn’t need a vent-a-hood for sushi,” she said of the decision.
Do Sushi was a popular dinner spot for 10 years.
In 2013, Carrier decided to close it. “I knew I needed to make a change when they started serving sushi at gas stations,” she said. Bar DKDC, a cocktail bar that features live music, was opened in the space.
Do Sushi was unique not just for its creative riffs on traditional sushi bar items, but for the fact that most of the
staff was female.
“At the time, there were not many women rolling sushi,” Carrier said.
In addition to Son and Widmer, Memphis artist Stacy Kiehl and chef Marisa Baggett worked there.
David Benson and Josh Benton were two of the few men on the team. Both are now deceased.
“This pop-up is an ode to both of them,” Carrier said. “They are both close to our hearts.”
The pop-up will be held from 4-10 p.m. March 23. No reservations will be accepted.