Thursday, May 22, 2008

Sushi Restaurants in Cowtown

Kansas City is known to many as Cowtown or the BBQ Capital of the World. With more than 100 barbeque restaurants, eating barbeque in this city is a way of life passed on from generation to generation.


While BBQ will forever be the staple cuisine of this city, there is a new kid on the block in the KC area. This cuisine has substituted ribs, burnt ends and BBQ sauce with rice, fish, and wasabi. That's right-- we're talking about Sushi. While it's safe to say that you can't find 100 sushi restaurants in KC, it can't be ignored that raw sea critters and spicy tuna are satisfying more Kansas Citians than ever before.
Sushi in Kansas City has hit the ground running with more and more restaurants popping up around the metro area. But unlike mouth-watering BBQ, there seems to be a definite love/hate relationship towards the rice covered raw seafood. On one side of the table are the addicted raw-fish advocates who can't get enough of the bite sized delights. On the other side are those who simply believe that food should not be eaten "half-alive." Regardless where your taste buds stand for these rolled culinary creations, you can't help but try Sushi at least once. As I always say, once you try a California Roll you'll keep coming back for more. Before you know it, your sushiphobia will disappear!
We went around in search of some finger-lickin' good sushi in Kansas City, and this is what we came up with:
Best Happy Hour Sushi: Kona Grill
This Plaza favorite not only has great sushi and a variety of American dishes, but it's also a great spot for grabbing a drink or two. When it comes to their rolls, take your time to look the menu over because they offer a diverse assortment of sashimi and rolls. The Volcano Roll is sure to bring you back time and again. A note to the wise, impatient and hungry-- you may want to make reservations unless you enjoy waiting 90 minutes to be seated for dinner. There's a lot of traffic at this restaurant, especially on the weekends.
Best Sushi Rolls: Sushi House & Jun's
If you're looking for some excellent Sushi in a great setting then don't miss out on Sushi House in Town Center. The Spicy Temptation Roll is sure to tempt your taste buds and the Tropical Roll is anything but Midwest. A full bar and menu of teriyaki, noodles, tempura, and bento boxes is also offered for lunch and dinner. If you want private dining that is relaxed, take off your shoes and try out one of Sushi House's private rooms. This place has such amazing sushi that you actually forget you're eating in a strip mall in Leawood.
Another great place for delicious rolls is Jun's Japanese in Prarie Village. Enjoy tempting tempura, sukiyaki, sashimi or hamachi. Order a bit of sake to wash everything down, and you're all set.
Best Sushi for Beginners: Nara
If you're a little weary about diving into the depths of sushi, then Nara is a great choice. At Nara, there's an assortment of menu items, ranging from Wakko Noodles to Lemon Grass Chicken to the Kobe Burger. Sushi beginners can try the Philadelphia Roll-- anything with cream cheese is automatically a good thing! Aside from the diverse menu, the bar and outdoor seating make dining at Nara a great night out.
Best Place for a Sushi/Steakhouse Compromise: Ichiban
Not quite sure if you want sushi or steak? Well don't worry-- you can have both at Ichiban in Westport. Ichiban Steakhouse and Sushi Bar serves up great entertainment right before your eyes no matter what you order. But if it is Sushi that you are craving, try the Plaza Roll and the Casper Roll both excellent choices, you won't be disappointed.
Best Cheap n' Good Sushi: Friend's Sushi & Bento Box
If you're craving good sushi but on a tight budget, then try Friend's Sushi & Bento Box, especially on Monday night. The sushi is just $1 per piece and select rolls just $3.99.
Best Neighborhood Sushi: Domo
If you're looking for some Einstein bagels, then you've come to the wrong place because you will now find Domo in this Brookside location. Perhaps their Philadelphia Roll will satisfy your cream cheese cravings. If you're looking for a wide assortment of traditional nigiri and exotic maki rolls then you should definitely try Domo out.
Best Date Sushi: Matsu
This great restaurant located in trendy Westport is just the place to have a quaint and relaxed sushi meal for two. The truly adventurous leave their culinary fate in the hands of the Sushi chef by selecting the Matsu special. The chef chooses a sample of raw and cooked sushi, sashimi and rolls. What are you craving? You better be ready for salmon, tuna, crab, caviar, snapper, eel or alligator!
Check out these other great KC area Sushi restaurants:
Kyoto Sushi & Steak House
Izumi Japanese Steak & Sushi
Jins Sushi
KC Sushi
Kokoro Express
Maui Express
Sushi Gin
Sushi Haru
Sushi Station
Wa (Lawrence, KS) is Kansas City's exciting new online restaurant guide. At you can search over 1,000 Kansas City restaurants by menu item, cuisine, Kansas City neighbhorhood, and more. Rate what you ate and leave comments for your friends. Eat. Drink. Taste KC! For more information, go to Kansas City's restaurant guide,