Sushi at Jun’s
Raw fish is not a typical request from out-of-towners visiting Kansas City. But when my dear friend Lisa, from Nashville, said she was craving some good sushi, I was happy to have the chance to show off KC’s great offerings for fresh fish in the Midwest.
Wanting to take her to a local eatery, we opted for Jun’s Authentic Japanese at 75th and State Line Road. I hadn’t been there for several years but knew from sushi-savvy friends that it was still a top spot for fresh fish.
Located in a strip mall, the place is far more impressive inside than when you drive up. The Oriental decor is quite inviting, but in an understated and very tidy, clean manner.
Our friend Emily joined and we chose to sit in the back room which is layed out in a traditional Tatami format with pillow mats to sit on and large screens between the tables. Despite having another table directly beside us, the area was very peaceful and great for our rarely-ceasing conversation.
The crispy edamame was on our table almost immediately. With no visible salt crystals atop, I worried it might be on the bland side. But I was pleasantly surprised to find the tender, flavorful pods perfectly seasoned.
Within minutes the gyoza followed. These delicious pan-fried dumplings were flawless – just enough meat inside and not too much dough outside.
Then came the difficult decisions. So many rolls and so few tummies at the table. We made a light first selection and decided we would get a second round after some sampling.
As with most sushi restaurants, my favorite roll turned out to be the shrimp tempura combined with spicy tuna. It had just a hint of crunch from the tempura batter and the perfect amount of heat mixed in the tuna to balance the shrimp’s sweetness. Just fantastic!
Another hit was the Double Trouble roll. Aptly named for the both red and white tuna that sits atop a traditional California roll. Layerd with avacado, this gorgeous creation was as satisfyingly tasty as it was artistic.
The rolls arrived beautifully plated together with the most impressive presentation being a selection I should have read more closely. Seeing that the roll contained both yellowtail and salmon, I immediately added it to the list. What I should have caught was the term “wrapped in cucumber paper”. Nope, no paper used…or rice for that matter. This was what you call a “low-carb” sushi roll! Just fresh pink fish surrounded with delicately spiraled cucumber. It was nice, but not what I was expecting.
I had read that Jun’s offered a very popular “Volcano” roll, but didn’t find it on the menu. When I inquired, the friendly server offered to have it made special for us. The roll took up nearly the entire plate and was topped with what I had always known to be “seafood dynamite”. The sliced california roll was spread out and smothered in a creamy scallop and clam mayonaise sauce mixed with masago and possibly a touch of sriracha. The warm topping made for a nice contrast with the cold roll, but I was unimpressed with both the seafood and the monotone sauce.
It’s hard to imagine, but we defintiely saved the best for last. Our second round of sushi was somewhat more simple. A few pieces of salmon and tuna nigiri, a spicy tuna roll and a simple roll of yellowtail and scallion – one of my staples.
The pretty pink salmon was like butter! Flavorful and smooth, yet still meaty. And the spicy tuna was absolute perfection! There was an ample amount of fish with just the right touch of seasoning – enough spice, but still a dominate flavor of very fresh tuna. The yellowtail was superb too.
Other than needing a water refill without seeing the waitress a few times, everything at Jun’s was just as I had hoped. It was a great atmosphere with decent service and some of the freshest, most delicious suhsi in Kansas City. Make your way to Prairie Village for this Japanese treat and you won’t be disappointed.
Jun’s Authentic Japanese
7660 State Line Road Prairie Village, KS 66208