I FINALLY made it to Kanai! I’ve wanted to go there for such a long time but the popular stories about wait times, and no lunch menu made it hard to commit, especially when I lived on the east side. As soon as I moved west, Kanai shot to the top of my “places I need to go immediately” list. And I’m glad I went!
Karla and I went to Kanai on a weeknight, probably around 7:00. And they weren’t awfully busy. I didn’t pay enough attention to tell if there would have been wait for a table of more than two, but we got right in. I was starving. I mean, normally I’m hungry, but this night I was famished. And ready to eat.
I was excited when they brought out a little appetizer. I’m not sure exactly what it was, or if we were supposed to eat it immediately, but I did. It was some type of chicken dish. And it was amazing. Of course, keep in mind how hungry I was.
The chicken dish. Anyone know what this is? Or, you know, if it’s really even chicken!
Next, we ordered potstickers for an appetizer. I probably wouldn’t have ordered an appetizer on a normal night since sushi comes so fast, but we were having a hard time making a decision on what we wanted, so an appetizer was a must. Once again, the potstickers were amazing. So far, so good!
When it finally came time to order, I knew I wanted to try the Mucho Caliente based on posts I’d seen on Kanai’s Facebook page. The roll, according to their website, is “spicy crab mix topped with crunchy tempura flake and unagi sauce.” And Kendra (who we were taking leftovers to) wanted to try the Flat Land Dream, which is “Crab mix, bay scallop, shrimp and cream cheese, all topped with albacore and avocado, tataki sauce, mayo and sriracha.” But we wanted to try three rolls, and were stuck on the third one.
So we finally pulled “a Kristy” and asked the waitress for a suggestion. Always a good move, in my opinion. If the waitress doesn’t say, “I like everything here” then you usually get some good suggestions. The waitresses that say “I like everything here” may as well say, “Everything sucks” because that’s what that answer means to me, for the record. Restaurants who tell their wait staff to say everything’s good need to stop. Do your waitresses (and waiters) not have preferences, personality or opinions? Come on! Let them try everything and suggest the things THEY like. Of course, they should never tell a customer something’s awful if they’ve already ordered it. And it’s not bad to say, “Good choice” with every order (although, I really like it when they only say “good choice” on their favorite items). But this “everything’s great, I like it all” BS is annoying. NO ONE likes it ALL.
Digressive vent over.
Our waitress suggested the Shinjyuku Roll (I’m having a really hard time remembering the name of the third roll – so if the pictures don’t match this roll, someone speak up) which is “deep fried shrimp, unagi and crab roll topped with spicy tuna, avocado, scallions and unagi sauce.” Three new rolls? Hell yeah, bring ‘em out!
And they did. Very quickly.
I loved the Mucho Caliente! I would definitely order it again if I went back, even if that meant trying less new things each time. I didn’t like the Flat Land Dream. It was too bland for me or something. It wasn’t gross, but it just didn’t have as much flavor as I like. And I really liked the flavors of the Shinjyuku Roll, but the pieces were so big they were impossible to fit the whole thing in your mouth at once. So that kind of ruined the experience of that roll a little bit for me.
While we’re talking size, size does matter. Am I wrong when I assume you’re supposed to put the whole sushi roll in your mouth at once? That way you get all of the flavors of the roll in one bite. If that’s the case, why do most sushi restaurants make such big rolls? There are times I long for Dillons sushi (lame, I know) because their rolls are a manageable size. Even the Flat Lander Dream and Mucho Caliente! were big enough I didn’t feel like I enjoyed them as much as I would have if they were a bit smaller. Yes, I really I’m “that’s what she said”-ing all over the place on this. But I’m being serious about wondering why they’re so big! And I’m not knocking just Kanai. I believe almost every sushi restaurant I’ve ever been to has big rolls.
None the less, Kanai was good, very friendly, professional and prompt. Our waitress gave suggestions. And even brought to-go boxes. I can’t wait to go back!
Flat Lander Dream
What’s everyone else’s favorite roll? Their menu’s so big, it’s hard to pick something new, but I definitely want to try something new next time. Or if you’re not a roll person, what do you get? I’ll admit I’m not a sushi pro.
Oh, and beware. You might not feel full in the restaurant, but that rice will catch up to you! I was miserably full the rest of the night. I knew I was eating more than I normally do since I was so hungry. I won’t be doing that again, but regardless I thin it was worth it!