Table Hopping - February 2009
“Red Hot Love.”
1900 Main Street
Kansas City, MO 64108
Chef Michael Smith made us wait for his second restaurant, Extra Virgin, as construction delays pushed the opening back. But, it was well worth the wait. On the dramatic red walls hangs a painting of the movie “La Dolce Vita” that plays off the mod lighting and raw metal olive branch sculpture. Its arty vibe gives this place sex appeal. But the small plates of adventuresome yet rustic, satisfying food is the reason to flock. Must order Roasted Marrow Bones for $12, Duck Confit Crostini for $8, Grilled Beef Tongue with sweet and sour beets for $10 and Peruvian Ceviche for $11. TAKE: a handful of friends with you, although tapas are fine for two, they are divine with four people or more.
Cancun Fiesta Fresh
4019 Pennsylvania Avenue
Kansas City, MO 64111
General Manager Rafael Pinedo runs one of the busiest taco trucks in the city that isn’t actually mobile. Located in an old garage in Westport across from the Beaumont Club, this modest but clean, friendly and affordable little place serves up authentic street tacos along with the usual Mexican fare. Get soft warm, corn tortillas filled with your choice of meats: Marinated Beef, BBQ Beef, Roasted Pork, Chicken, Ground Beef, Beef Tongue (must try!) or Beef Cheek (seriously good!) with chopped cilantro and diced onion for only $1.75 a piece. A great place to be called a cheap date. Open for lunch, dinner and late night – when they become the place to nosh post-cocktails. VISIT: on Tuesdays when all street tacos are only $1, not available for delivery.
Chosun Korean BBQ
12611 Metcalf Avenue
Overland Park, KS 66213
Owner Keun-Bae Jeon, wants you to enjoy dinner and a cooking show at Chosun Korean BBQ. At dinner, you will, with the help of your waiter, cook thin slices of spicy pork or beef tableside over your own gas grill. Pull the meat from the grill and wrap it in crisp lettuce leaves topped off with side items like - kimchee, seaweed salad, cucumber and daikon radish, steamed egg and tofu. At lunch the grills are not lit, but you can still order off their authentic menu – including traditional bibim bap rice bowls for $9 or a haemool pajeon - crepe spiked with grilled squid and green onion made for sharing for $13. WAIT: for a grilling table, if you catch them on a busy night.
Masala’s Authentic Indian Diner
7301 W. 91st Street
Overland Park, KS 66212
While the owner of Masala’s may choose to remain a mystery, this restaurant is one you should definitely explore. Located in front of Whole Foods, the dining room is lovely and light at lunch when their excellent buffet is served, and yet it positively transforms into an upscale retreat at night. The Indian community supports this relative newcomer to the scene, one look at the menu and you can see why. The large menu features Northern and Southern Indian dishes. The selection and variety of everything from Indian drinks to desserts is impressive. MIX: it up by ordering Masalas Mixed Grille for $18 featuring chicken, lamb, fish or shrimp from the tandoor oven, a vegetarian selection from the menu and a Bread Basket for $8 and you should be covered.
14944 W. 87th Parkway (87th and Lackman )
Lenexa, KS 66215
When he closed the original Copa Room at 34th and Broadway, owner Carlo Cammisano knew it was time to move his restaurant closer to home. His family home located in Lenexa. Now Carlo’s mother, Kathy Fiorello, who still does all the cooking, serves up all of the same Italian dishes she did when they were downtown and packing them in. The remodeled space is airy and looks like a highly stylized rec room. For the best of both worlds order the Basa, a lightly floured Basa fish filet, sautéed and topped with a lemon butter sauce, served with a side of penne pasta with alfredo and comes with a house salad and bread basket all for $21. LISTEN: to live music with your meal on Wed-Sat. nights when Rat Pack-style singers entertain with old favorites.