Blue Koi: Leawood Edition

 Posted by at 4:40 pm
Mar 012008

Mission road in Leawood is becoming 39th street west.

Part of the fun of Blue Koi is its 39th Street location. It gets busy as hell on weekends. I enjoy putting my name in, giving them my cell number and hopping across the way to DB Cooper’s for a half hour of cigarettes, PBR and burn-out psychodrama. After some dumpling and noodles at Blue Koi you can stroll over to Fric n Frac or some other little joint and have a cocktail or coffee or whatever. It almost feels like a real city for a minute. But wait, I’m supposed to be talking about lunch.

Now Blue Koi has a Leawood location, just south of 103rd on Mission road. Like its older sibling, it is very popular for lunch. Don’t know about dinner. It is located in one of these weird semi-occupied mixed use developments. I think it is called “Mission Farms,” probably because it used to be a farm before they sent the old guy away with a million dollar check for his land. Anyhow it’s like storefronts with condos on the upper floors. But it basically feels like you are driving into a condo development, complete with a sign welcoming you to Mission Farms. And several of the storefronts seem like they have yet to be leased. Apart from the restaurant, it is eerily quiet in the parking lot. You know, because everyone who lives there is at work trying to pay for these places. Whoever developed this area probably had big ideas about dwelling and retail coexisting, complete with platitudes about vibrant pedestrian orientated living. But basically, you live in a condo in the suburbs above an overpriced chinese restaurant and a no-count hair salon. I’d be surprised if Mission Road has an uninterrupted sidewalk down to the new Room 39, another transplant from 39th street.

Back to basics: Blue Koi is very good at what they do. The menu at the Leawood location is pretty much identical to 39th street and the quality is similarly top-notch.

For the uninitiated, Blue Koi is a noodle and dumpling house that focuses on quality ingredients and fresh, homemade preparation. For most menu items you can choose whether you want them in a noodle soup, or just with noodles (sans broth) or with rice. It’s a nice way to offer choice without going crazy. I think that it’s pretty safe to do anything on the menu, whatever you choose won’t ruin the experience.

As I said the food is very good in both locations, but the Leawood version is super business-lunch oriented in terms of clientele. The service at Leawood was also excellent. Just like 39th street, you can also sit at the bar and watch the chefs at work. While this would drive me crazy if I was one of the chefs, it’s kind of cool for diners. It’s like a people zoo.

I think this location is kind of a destination spot for JoCo corporate types who wouldn’t venture to 39th street to begin with. It’s very interesting when KC places duplicates their efforts in Johnson County, I’m not sure how I feel about it. I understand the need to expand, but it feeds into the whole mentality that Kansans are unwilling to head over to this side of the border. While many rant about it, I’m not sure it’s completely true. If there wasn’t a Blue Koi or a Bo Lings or a Room 39 in JoCo — if people were forced to come to KC to appreciate good food, would they come? I honestly don’t know, but I do know that I head over to Kansas frequently to eat food. Think Oklahoma Joe’s or Il Trullo or whatever floats your friggin boat.

Anyhow, Blue Koi is great, everyone should eat there. Get the Chinese Pot Roast–it’s subtle, delicately textured and delicious with noodles. Ants on a Tree is also delicious and very popular. The dumplings? also first-rate. But to be perfectly honest, I don’t want to hang out in a Leawood condo development, even for lunch.

Read more:

Blue Koi on Urbanspoon


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  One Response to “Blue Koi: Leawood Edition”

  1. There definitely something to be said for the atmosphere at the 39th Street location.
    That is the problem with all the places in Mission Farms that have a Westport/39th St. location. Blanc Burgers, Room 39 and Blue Koi.
    I think the staff is more friendly in the original locations too.