Monday, March 21, 2011

RA Sushi

Home of the very tasty, very awkwardly punctuated "RA"ckin' shrimp.

Travel back with me to late January 2011. The weather was cold, the year was new and Charlie Sheen was only annoying if you happened to be watching “Two and a Half Men.” Lunch Blog received an invitation to a special lunch preview of RA Sushi’s new menu, and while Robert couldn't make it, my fiancée Angela and I got to check it out.

Located at Park Place in Leawood, just north of Town Center Plaza, RA Sushi is very spacious and has a great modern feel. Also, I’ve been watching way too much HGTV.

We started off with Chicken Otoko Salad ($10), which features peppers, asparagus and fried noodle crunchies with strips of chicken cooked in a spicy yuzu dressing. I liked it, although getting the fried noodles from the plate to my mouth proved to be something of a challenge.

The other starter was the deceivingly fiery-looking Shishito Peppers ($7). They’re actually very mild -- after about three, you can feel a little heat starting to build, but the sauce is delicious and more than compensates.

Next up was an assortment of four new sushi rolls, each with an adventurous combination of flavors. Everything tasted fresh and looked sharp on the plate. The lineup was as follows:
Vegetable Tempura Roll ($7.50): Everything is better when it's fried, and this mix of asparagus, sweet potato and Japanese eggplant is no exception. It has a slight crunch from the tempura topping, and is drizzled with a sweet eel sauce. Besides, it has to be relatively healthy, right? It’s veggies!
Pacific Roll ($9.50): This one has a bit of spiciness within its mix of albacore, cilantro, jalapeno and cucumber. Topped with an avocado and mango salsa, red beet tempura bits and sautéed cashews, there’s a lot going on with this one but it works.
Tropical Roll ($8.50): This roll has cucumber, mango and avocado inside, and is topped with spinach tempura, masago and mango salsa and a spicy-style shrimp. Not as flashy as the other rolls, but tasty nevertheless.
“RA”ckin’ Roll ($13): This one was the Cadillac -- it's a crab and cream cheese mix that's battered and fried, topped with guacamole and crispy “RA”ckin’ shrimp, then garnished with a creamy ginger teriyaki sauce and red beet tempura bits. The “RA”ckin’ Roll was the big winner of the bunch.

For the main entrée, we were served the new Lobster with Garlic Sugar Snap Peas ($17.50). The lobster is sautéed with garlic and shiitake mushrooms, and the peas are a nice complement. I appreciated that they didn't go too crazy with the garlic -- just right.

Finally, for dessert we got to try some traditional Japanese ice cream via the Sweet Mochi Trio ($7.50). An assortment of mango, strawberry and vanilla ice creams in sweet rice cake shells, the kiwi and strawberry garnish along with whipped cream and chocolate makes it look cute on the plate. Like the noodles earlier, eating it was a bit challenging -- the rice cake was tricky to cut without smashing the rapidly melting ice cream into the plate. Well worth the effort, though, because it was a delight.

While we had the option to sample some of RA's new cocktails, due to the fact that we both had to go to back to work, we took a pass. If I hadn't, though, I would have definitely tried the Ginger Blossom ($8), a combination of Hendrick's Gin, St. Germain (an elderflower liqueur -- thanks Google!), ginger ale, muddled strawberries, and pink grapefruit and lime juices. And yes, I would have drank it like a pretty, pretty lady.

Thanks again to RA Sushi for the invitation.
11638 Ash Street | Leawood, KS 66211 RA Sushi on Urbanspoon

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