I love sushi and I have never had a bad experience with any roll or restaurant — I just love it. I’ve had grocery store sushi, local restaurant sushi, “special occasion” sushi and even airport sushi. I am clearly not a picky eater when it comes to trying new foods though I know it is not everyone’s cup of tea. I broadened my horizon of what sushi restaurants Kansas City had to offer by going to three different sit-downs. For consistency sake, I tried each restaurant’s version of the traditional California roll — which is crab, avocado and cucumber wrapped in seaweed and rice — three of their specialty rolls and one side or appetizer.
I wanted to start my review with an open mind and try a sushi restaurant that I had never been to before, Ra Sushi, located in northern Town Center Plaza. I went to Ra with a date and the atmosphere inside felt upscale without being too formal. I started with the Pork Gyoza which were $7.50 for six pieces. The potstickers were cooked with a crisp dough outside and soft pork middle that was so flavorful, making for a perfect appetizer.
The menu featured 21 specialty rolls alone which made it difficult to settle on two. In the end, I chose the Mango Shrimp roll, $13.40 for eight pieces, and the Spicy Lobster roll, $12.90 for five pieces. The Mango Shrimp roll was my favorite roll of the night: the freshness of the mango added a sweetness to the roll that complimented the taste of the shrimp. It felt appropriate for spring and reminded me of distant, tropical vacations. I usually am drawn to the spicy rolls, but the Spicy Lobster roll was disappointing. The lobster meat mix inside of the roll was delicious and soft while not being overwhelmingly spicy. Unfortunately, I felt like the lettuce overpowered the overall taste for me and distracted from the flavor and dulled the spiciness of the roll. Additionally, this roll had the least amount of pieces but was on the higher end for prices. The California roll was the least expensive roll at $5.70 for eight pieces. I found it to be true to the classic taste that I have learned to recognize over the years.
By the end of the night, both me and my date were surprised by how quickly the rolls filled us up. Ra is the perfect date setting or friend dinner as its menu features more options than just sushi, so all food preferences and comfort levels would find something to enjoy. I rate my experience at Ra a 3/5 for its intimate environment and variety of flavor options.
My next stop was Prime Sushi on Main, a restaurant that I haven’t been to since it first opened in 2016. The environment was more casual than Ra and the staff were friendly and welcoming. Prime offers a variety of both hot and cold appetizers and to start, I ordered the Spicy Tuna Tower for $13.50. The tower was a spicy tuna mix with avocado and wonton chips. I was a little bit confused on how to eat it at first but once I figured it, I loved the flavor of the tuna mix and how the avocado helped add a fresh kick and mellow out the spiciness of the tuna.
Prime Sushi had some of the most creative names for their specialty rolls, such as the Hotline Bling roll, Mango Cha Cha roll and the Strawberry Fields roll. I settled on the Royals Dragon roll, $15.95 for eight pieces, and the Godzilla roll, $14.95 for eight pieces. The presentation of all of the rolls together was aesthetically pleasing with flowers and other decor, and all of the rolls were so large that I was practically full by the third piece I tried. The Royals Dragon roll was my favorite roll of the bunch. It was topped with eel and filled with fried shrimp and avocado. The Godzilla roll had assorted fish on top, which I would recommend trying to anyone that is new to sushi and wants to experiment with different types of fish. The center was soft cream cheese paired with crunchy asparagus making for a really refreshing and flavorful roll. Their California roll was $7.50 for eight pieces. The pieces were even larger than Ra’s and the crab mix was packed into the roll and was surprisingly fresh and tasty.
I was a little bit shocked by the pricing at Prime Sushi when I first looked over the menu. Once I saw how large and well prepared the rolls were, I decided the price was fair since you could end up ordering less rolls without skipping out on flavor or worrying about being full. I loved the modern, fun atmosphere of the restaurant and how the big windows brought in a calming light. This was my favorite restaurant that I visited, and I would rate it a 4.5/5. It had everything I look for in a sushi restaurant, even though it wound up being more pricey than I expected.
My final stop was to Blue Sushi Sake Grill in Woodside Village. I had been to this restaurant in the past, so I knew what to expect more. I love the décor inside of the restaurant and how it is bright, colorful and modern. I ordered the Mango Crab Rangoons, $8.50, to start. This appetizer was my favorite, I love crab rangoons and the addition of mango adds so much more flavor and the mango sauce that comes with the order heightens the overall experience. The menu did not feature as many rolls as some of the other restaurants I tried, which was good since I can sometimes be overwhelmed when there are too many choices.
I picked the Thriller roll, $12.00 for eight pieces, and the Hotel Cali roll, $10.00 for eight pieces. I thought it was interesting how it was topped with spicy crab mix rather than having it inside the roll but the flavor combo of the mix and shrimp tempura was on point. The Hotel Cali roll also had this crab and shrimp tempura combo but additionally had jalapeno and cream cheese which set the flavors apart. The cream cheese center reminded me of the Godzilla Roll from Prime but the tastes were very different. I felt like their rolls were much smaller and didn’t feel as filling as some of the other restaurants I had been to. The California roll was $7.50 for eight pieces and was similar to Ra’s California roll only I felt like Blue had much less crab mix.
Blue Sushi Sake Grill has a very fun and entertaining vibe that I think would be great to go to with friends. The menu isn’t as extensive which gives less opportunities to try new items, but I thought that they had perfected the items that they did serve. I would definitely visit Blue again for the Mango Crab Rangoons alone but their sushi is also stellar. This earns Blue Sushi Sake Grill a 4/5.
This experience helped me realize that I love mango flavored rolls or appetizers and spicy crab mix. I tended to draw toward those menu items from each restaurant and would recommend anyone to try items that feature those ingredients. Prime Sushi was my favorite restaurant that I tried overall, I loved the size of the rolls and how casual and light everything was. I want to revisit these restaurants again and more of the sushi places Kansas City has to offer because each one has its own style and vibe, especially when you try their specialty rolls.