Don’t be fooled by the exterior because Mr Max is a tucked away, hidden gem type of spot! The authentic Japanese izakaya is one of just a few in the area and can be found over in Irving. And some people consider it the best Japanese in all of Dallas!

Updated February 2022


An izakaya is an informal, Japanese bar that serves alcoholic bevs, snacks and more with a laid back dining experience. You order tapas style, choosing multiple dishes, and the wait staff will continuously stop by throughout the meal to see if you want to more! And fun fact, Mr Max is certified by Japan External Trade Organization (JETRO) as an authentic Japanese restaurant in the US! 


Walk in to find a jam-packed restaurant with people eating, drinking and enjoying themselves. When we went, the table next to us brought games to play! There’s table and bar seating, or you can opt for the full experience by ditching your shoes to sit at the low-rise tables, making for a really fun group evening. 


Start with sashimi, the 3-appetizer sampler, or a range of pickled vegetables, seafood, and fried offerings. Definitely order the karaage and although we didn’t try it, we’ve read that the grilled squid is phenomenal too! For your main, choose from one of 14 meats from the grill, from the 5 types of Udon noodles, which we loved, or from the multitude of rice sandwiches, and Japanese curry. Next time we plan to be bit more adventurous, trying items like tako-wasabi octopus and an eel omelette!


For drinks, there’s an extensive list of Japanese offerings including Chuhai, Shochu and sake. Pro tip: It can be really hard to get a reservation, so call as soon as you know that you want to go! They only do two seatings each night.