Table Hopping – May 2009
“I think I’m turning Japanese, I really think so.”
8615 Hauser Street
Lenexa, KS 66215
Owner, Anne Ai, spent considerable time and money converting a Chinese restaurant in Lenexa into the stunning show piece called Edokko. Zen stones, fiery red walls and warm wood creates an inviting and upscale environment, which is only matched in awe by her commitment to high quality Japanese/Asian food. Her steamed or pan-fried pork dumplings 6 for $5 are delicious and made from scratch to order. Try the Hamo (Eel) with Japanese truffle sauce or Pan-fried Red Snapper for $13 and Kobe Beef Nigiri, 2 pieces for $10 will melt in your mouth. Ask Ann about her extensive sake list, she will charm you with her knowledge. OPEN: late and 7 days a week, until 10:00 pm weekdays and 11:00 pm on Fri. & Sat.
Domo Sushi & Grill
6322 Brookside Plaza
Kansas City, MO 64113
This calm little spot, located right off the main drag in Brookside, doesn’t look like much on the outside, but step in to find an oasis from the busy streets. This restaurant is a friends and family affair, take the Japanese country mural painted on the wall by local artist, Mila Geisler. She also works as a server at Domo’s. Head Chef Koji-san brings years experience to his restaurant and locals give him props for his makimono or sushi rolls and creative noodle bowls. Try their signature dish, a sashimi plate made with white tuna and salmon topped with a tangy yuzu ginger sauce for around $9. CATCH: your breath and visit them at lunch, the atmosphere is quiet and meditative.
Jun’s Authentic Japanese
7660 State Line Road
Prairie Village, KS 66208
Jun’s is considered by most to be the “granddaddy” of all Japanese restaurants in town. Back when Jun was behind the sushi bar, he put every guest at ease with his outgoing personality while he introduced them to his cuisine. When Jun retired, he sold his successful restaurant to a man who was working with him and knew his way with fresh fish. Aside from the sushi, come to share Shabu-shabu, a tableside hotpot with noodles, tofu, fresh veggies and thinly sliced beef for around $25. Watch your server make this lovely soup using her chopsticks to stir the ingredients in the broth to cook them. This is what “shabu-shabu” literally means “swish-swish”. SIT: at the sushi bar or back in the traditional tatami seating areas separated by screens.
One Bite Japanese Grill
8602 W 133rd Street
Overland Park, KS 66213
Erika Koike opened One Bite Japanese Grill as a Japanese pub, or izakaya, that does not serve sushi, but instead more traditional Japanese small plates. People come here to eat a quick meal or grab a snack, but with it’s sleek, colorful interior it feels more like a place you want to stay and play. Bring a friend and order about 2-3 items to share. Start with pan-fried pot stickers get 6 pieces for $6. Try the Modan Yaki a crispy egg pancake layered with chicken, veggies and golden fried noodles for $12. Then get the One Bite Scallops for $12 or One Bite Spare Ribs for $10. DRINK: one of their colorful little cocktails or get the Japanese soda, Ramune. Half the fun is just trying to get it open.
Kaiyo Sushi inside of Cosentino's Downtown Market
10 East 13th Street
Kansas City, MO 64106-2924
Sushi Chef David Loo, and his wife Karen Ming, were running their successful Japanese restaurant, Kaiyo, in Leawood, when the Cosentino Family approached them about opening a second sushi bar inside of their brand new market downtown. It was a match made in heaven. This is no ordinary supermarket sushi, Chef David Loo, himself, is down there daily working lunch and then he is back in his home restaurant in Leawood for dinner. Order the Spicy Tuna hand roll $7 or the Caterpillar roll $10, then ask what’s fresh and have a few pieces of that. TALK: to sushi Chef David Loo. Once he knows you and what you like, he can steer you towards what’s fresh and in season.