Sushi Kodawari to Bring Omakase Dining to Crossroads

Karson Thompson plans to decorate Sushi Kodawari with a pair of antique painted screen doors, done by an artist named Keibun in the early 1800s. (Image from Karson Thompson)

By Kevin Collison

Karson Thompson is opening what may be Kansas City’s smallest restaurant later this year in the Crossroads.

His Sushi Kodawari planned for 2100 Central St. will feature a counter with eight seats and and offer just two, reserved seatings per night.

Those 16 diners will enjoy eating sushi served in what’s called “omakase” style, a fixed price menu determined daily by Thompson.

“We’re going to bring a format of sushi to Kansas City the city hasn’t seen yet,” he said. “It’s almost like a boutique restaurant. It’s a cool, intimate way to enjoy food.”

Karson first encountered omakase sushi restaurants while practicing law in Austin. When his favorite place closed there, he decided to see if he could recreate its delicacies on his own.

The menu will include otsumami, a small plate or “snack” traditionally served before the nigiri course. It is Ora King Salmon from New Zealand, served as a tartare with avocado, a ponzu sauce, and salmon roe.

“Sushi was a hobby for me,” he said.

The result was good enough to satisfy the self-described “sushi snob” palates of he and his wife. Following  his additional culinary training in Tokyo, the couple decided to return to Kansas City and open a restaurant.

The Crossroads appealed to him immediately.

“I’ve been away from Kansas City the last 15 years and when we decided to move back and take the plunge, the Crossroads jumped out to me because it’s a destination dining area in the city,” Thompson said.

3D Development, the owner of what’s called The Creamery building, proved to be welcoming landlords.

“The did a fantastic job renovating it,” he said.

“I had a unique opportunity to fit into spaces a lot of traditional restaurants can’t use. There’s not a lot places trying to feed 16 people a day.”

Sushi Kodawari will be located in The Creamery building at 2100 Central.

Omakase dining encourages each patron to not wait for their companions and eat their sushi immediately to enjoy its full freshness.

It will be served in the style of old Tokyo, called “edomae,” featuring fish served on highly acidic, vinegared rice.

“I’ll serve one person at a time in a slow, luxurious pace to the meal,” Thompson said. “The goal is to build community and have people enjoy their meal together.”

The plan calls for Sushi Kodawari to be opened five nights a week. Private bookings for intimate gatherings also likely will be offered. As for an opening date, Thompson is shooting for late this Fall.

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