Review: Eden Prairie and Chanhassen Sushi Restaurants

From spicy to sweet—and even smoky—there’s a lot of sushi to sample in the southwest metro.
Feeling adventurous? Try the Playboy Roll from Kai's Sushi Grill in Chanhassen.

Sushi connoisseurs and newbies alike can appreciate the variety and quality of sushi available in the southwest metro. Whether you’re sinking your teeth into the spicy Picasso Roll at Kona Grill, the flaming Playboy Roll at Kai’s Sushi and Grill or the sweet and refreshing Mango Roll at Fresh Seasons Market, the southwest metro offers a respectable variety of sushi in lovely sit-down settings or ready to take home from a couple of local supermarkets. Here’s a sampling of some of the most unique options at several local establishments.  Playboy RollKai’s Sushi and GrillFrom New York to Las Vegas to Chanhassen, Kai Tho, the owner of Kai’s Sushi and Grill, has rolled with the best of them. When the restaurant opened late last year, Tho created a menu filled with traditional sushi options and some unique ones. The Playboy Roll ($16.95), inspired by his time in Las Vegas, includes spicy tuna, shrimp tempura, asparagus and is topped with shrimp and jalapeno. To make it even more interesting, this roll is served tableside, flaming and wrapped in aluminum. Tho says that the smoky flavor makes this roll unique. And you don’t have to go to Las Vegas to enjoy it. 586 W. 78th St., Chanhassen; 952.923.2456;   Golden Spicy Tuna RollFresh Seasons MarketSince 2004, Sushi Avenue in Eagan has been supplying retailers with fresh, daily-prepared sushi. You can find its Golden Spicy Tuna Roll at Fresh Seasons Market almost any day of the week. The nine-piece roll appears orange, because the cooked rice is topped with a golden capelin roe. Inside the outer layer of seaweed lies a spicy combination of a red chili sugar sauce, cucumber, avocado and tuna, which always can be tamed by dipping it in more soy. $6.95. 7999 Victoria Dr., Victoria; 952.443.1600; Osaka RollOsakaDescribed as a unique roll because of its wrap made up of cucumber instead of the traditional seaweed with rice, the Osaka Roll ($12.95) is a refreshing option filled with tuna, salmon, yellowtail, crab and tabiko. This roll is an excellent option for lunch or a light dinner. Osaka offers several other specialty rolls including the Spicy Girl Roll and the Crazy Tuna Roll (both $13.95). 11528 Leona Road, Eden Prairie; 952.941.6949;  No. 9½ RollRare Steak & SushiRare Steak and Sushi, located inside the Eden Prairie Life Time Fitness, offers this specialty roll on Tuesdays as part of its all-you-can-eat night. You won’t find it on the regular menu, but the 9½ roll is served inside-out, with tempura-battered shrimp, cucumber and spicy mayo wrapped in salmon, avocado and unagi. For a sweet tooth satisfier on any other day of the week, try the Strawberry Shortcake roll ($13)—another inside-out topped with escolar, strawberries and a pineapple glaze. All-you-can-eat night is $29.95. 755 Prairie Center Drive, Eden Prairie; 952.829.8484;   Picasso RollKona GrillWith fresh fish flown in daily, Kona Grill is a great sushi option with an extensive menu in the southwest metro. The Picasso Roll ($14.50) is one of the spicier options at this Eden Prairie location. The roll starts off with a spicy yellowtail mix, avocado, jalapeno, cilantro, togarashi, sriracha and yuzu ponzu. This roll is often recommended by servers at the restaurant who personally love it, and restaurant patrons come back again and again to experience the flavors and heat this roll offers.If you’re not into spicy options, Kona Grill also recommends the simple, yet delicious soft shell crab roll ($10) or the sashimi flight ($13.95). With the flight, you get to pick three options. 11997 Singletree Lane, Eden Prairie; 952.941.3262; Light My Fire RollKabuki SushiSushi chef Eric Nakamoto has been with Kabuki Sushi for 25 years in Eden Prairie and says the newest roll, which he calls Light My Fire, is selling “like hotcakes.” This inside-out roll is filled with spicy tuna, wrapped with seaweed and finished with jalapeno peppers, hamachi, wasabi tobiko, which is a flying fish egg, and finally wasabi mayo and a dab of chili sauce. He says that restaurant patrons have fallen in love with this roll and keep coming back for more. Besides many traditional sushi options, Kabuki offers 20 specialty rolls with interesting combinations. $17.95. 6534 Flying Cloud Drive, Eden Prairie; 952.941.5115;   Yum Yum Crunchy RollKowalski’s MarketYou might not think of Kowalski’s when you first think of sushi in the southwest metro, but the Eden Prairie market offers a fresh selection of sushi that is handmade daily in the store. The Yum Yum Crunchy Roll ($8.99) is filled with crab salad, avocado and cucumber and finished with fried onions, spicy sauce and eel sauce. 16500 W. 78th Street, Eden Prairie; 952.937.9585;