Jolly: Sushi Nightclub Atmosphere = Leawood’s RA

I thought that the nightclub paired with food scene in Kansas City had all but died out…

At least in Johnson County – but apparently I was wrong. On the Wednesday I went with friends to RA Sushi it was more packed than a Frontier flight leaving KCI.

 Ra is located on 11638 Ash St. in Leawood on the edge of Park Place next to Town Center Plaza. When I arrived at 6pm I was reminded what a nightmare parking is in this area. If you chose to park in one of the large garages in Park Place then get ready for a bit of a walk. Bad weather will make this more unpleasant. But if you can, try to get a spot remotely close to RA or any of the eateries there and good luck. There are just a few parking spots available and for some reason they’re all 30 minutes only. 

What a brilliant idea someone had when designing this area.

It’s literally an obstacle course for female drivers. However you opt to not waste 20 minutes of valuable drinking and dining time, just go to the valet at Loft Hotel next to RA. For $6.00 (not including tip) you can drop your car and if you tell the valet that you are eating at RA, they’ll pull your car up front of the restaurant in about an hour. 

I think a not-so-gifted child could have come up with a better plan for parking with a box of Legos.

Anyway, I showed up at a very full restaurant and met my friends at the bar while we waited for a table. I’d been to RA a couple times before, but this is the first time that I was introduced to the happy hour menu.

Surprisingly, there are some real gems on it that are a great value considering it’s Leawood where many patrons don’t really care about price. The first thing we checked out was the happy hour drink menu. I ordered the mango margarita ($5.00) as did many of my friends and it was very good, but not great.

Because as I watched the bartender make it, they used Finest Call mixes at RA, but it’s not like they were juicing fresh mangos back there. Hey, but for $5.00 it was a pretty good deal.  I did notice while sitting at the bar that all the bottles of liquor on the back bar had cups over the pour spouts.

Most people probably wouldn’t notice this, but it means that RA may have a fruit fly problem.

Now out of fairness most bars have this same problem but they’re not supposed to show the measures they have taken to the customers. Cups should not be on the bottles during hours of operation.

None the less, we were seated in a very dimly lit dining area and greeted by our waitress. RA only has waitresses, there are no male servers. But I’m not the type to yell out SEXEST because it really adds to the ambiance and I love hot young chicks as much as the next guy. 

In addition to the dim lights and hot girls there ‘s constant techno and dance music almost blaring from the many speakers.  Again, don’t get me wrong – I DIG ITHAT. I love today’s artists and I like it loud, however some of the older folks may not like the atmosphere at RA.

There were six of us at our table so we practically raped the happy hour menu. 

We ordered eight items from the menu and they all came at different times. Our server, who apparently had a trainee that night, told us RA has two separate kitchens and food just comes out when it’s ready. Totally OK with us and we thanked her for the heads up.

In no specific order this is what we enjoyed….

First we got two Viva Las Vegas sushi rolls ($7.00 each). Now I have a general rule about sushi; you can totally judge a place based just on their Las Vegas roll.  And so far, that rule has been spot on. The rolls were stuffed with real crab meat, had a light fried tempura batter on the outside with crab and spicy tuna coming out the top like lava in a volcano drizzled with eel sauce.

I can only conclude that they order these from Narnia because they’re so good.

Plus there was an almost wafer thin tempura decoration on the top of all six rolls on the plate. But I never eat the decorations because they go straight to my hips.

Next was the rainbow roll ($7.00) which was just as good. It had an assortment of fresh fish, cream cheese, and crisp cucumber. Next arrived the two plates of pork gyoza ($4.00 each). That’s pork dumplings to the lay person and they were some of the best I’ve ever eaten (although the Cheesecake Factory is No. 1 when it comes to pork dumplings).

Soon after that our pineapple cheese wontons ($4.00) arrived and sadly they were as close as we were going to get to Crab Rangoon for my friend Mollie. They were delicious and the charred pineapple dipping sauce tasted way better than it looked.

It tasted like a Hawaiian luau where everyone was naked. 

Lastly I’ll tell you about my favorite dish of the night, the spicy sesame chicken wings that were not very spicy at all but f@#king incredible. Call me white trash but I LOVE Hooter’s wings. And RA’s wings made a chicken wing from Hooter’s seem like a wing from Buffalo Wild Wings with downs syndrome. The wings from RA were big and full of meat and the sauce was incredible. It was almost like a peanut thai sauce that made all of our mouths orgasm.

By far these are now my favorite wings in the city.

Overall the service at RA was pretty  good. We kind of got double teamed throughout our dining experience from our server and her trainee. At times our server would take our order for another dish, then seconds later the trainee would ask us if we’d like another dish.

They were doing the repeater schtick to us all night. The trainee never seemed to be on the same page as our server nor were they ever there at the same time. But it didn’t affect our great experience at all.

Ra was an excellent dining journey for me…. the music, the great happy hour sushi and tapas, and the atmosphere as a whole – they all worked great together.

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10 Responses to Jolly: Sushi Nightclub Atmosphere = Leawood’s RA

  1. Super Dave says:

    Thank You Mr. Jolly
    Well I am a huge music lover, have a huge collection, drum player, whole nine yards, and when I am home it is at times very loud. But when I am sitting with friends having dinner I want to her some music in background and as well what my friend at the end of the table is saying without them shouting to me.

    So based on what you are telling me RA isn

  2. Robin says:

    Where are you?
    You are talking about RA’s and showing a picture of the new Michael Forbes in Brookside. Maybe a little to much mango.

  3. nick says:

    not real sushi
    I like the review, but I do have a slight problem with Ra. They use machines to roll their sushi. Now, I am a purest when it comes to most food, but I am serious when it comes to sushi. It takes 7 years in training before you can become a true sushi chef. Ra is the McDonalds of sushi. A bunch of white guys that have zero appreciation for the fish back there working those sushi machine just pisses me off really. Sushi rice that isnt made with sake or fanned by hand. I might be a touch harsh, but I would really love to hear that Ra burned down on the 6am news. Again, review was good. I liked that. But, fuck Ra and the mouth breathing JoCo wanna be foodies with no understanding of the history or true appreciation for food that go there. Maybe its the flashing lights and loud sounds that attract those ppl like flies to a zap light. Sorry, a touch harsh I know. Again, nice writing though man. Keep up the good work.

  4. chuck says:

    Great review Ried, funny stuff,
    but I am with Super Dave, loud Techno music and metronomic bumping in my ears during dinner would make me think of C Rats.

    Here is what really astoniches me thuough. Nick.

    Jeeze, I am such a mid west, salt of the earth moron, I did not know about the “7” years and all the differences between Sushi etc. etc.

    Gobsmacked I was.

    7 YEARS!!???!

    No shit? I am not being a smartass (This time.) but wow. I thought anyone could roll the stuff up and serve it.

    So Nick, where is the real deal?

  5. Leonard says:

    Where is the real deal?
    real sushi?? ummmmmm….NOT IN KC!!!!….. try someplace close to where the raw fish comes out of the ocean.

    I dont eat Steak in California…and I dont eat sushi in Kansas city/COW TOWN… are you fucking kdding me?

    and the BOOM BOOM BOOM BOOM BOOM BOOM of techno shit sounds…… voila…. I will never go there.

    Nice try Jolly…. thanks for the warning…. N E X T

  6. chuck says:

    Go to picture number 4 on this website
    http://www.sushischool.net/home.php

    Goddamn is it funny. Jesus they are happy!

    That website said only 2 months to be a Sushi chef.

    I still don’t get it, we are cuttin up fish and rolling it in stuff, right?

  7. chuck says:

    Here is an online course for $500.00
    http://www.sushitrainer.com/

    It provides 300 videos and 10,000 photos. WOW!

    I wanna see John Belushi roll up Sushi and serve it.

    No, I want Stevie Wonder to take the class.

  8. chuck says:

    Here is a nice take from a nice lady
    in Sushi School.

    http://culinarywhore.blogspot.com/2007/10/first-day-at-sushi-school-itadaki-masu.html

    Ok, it IS complicated.

  9. clapham says:

    Thanks…
    Another great review. To bad yall went on a wednesday, I was unable to make it do to work. I do agree with the fact theat I can do do without the banging of techno while enjoying a meal with friends. RA is still a great and quality place to meet up with friends. Thanks for the post and keep them coming. Whats up with math problem tho?

  10. balbonis moleskine says:

    If you like the RA concept, go check out Nara downtown. They have a roboto and a DJ, pretty fun.

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