Kokoro Maki House: 340 W 75th St

 Posted by at 1:41 am
Dec 312008

I love counter service lunch spots. They are almost universally faster than full service restaurants, they tend to be more informal, and the food can still be excellent. But let me begin by stating what I think should be a self evident truth:

Ordering sushi from a counter, paying and then waiting for it to be delivered is just wrong.

No one waits on you, no one fills up the water glass, and you are not at the sushi bar chatting with anyone. You are just waiting. It is purely a capitalist exchange of goods for money.

Kokoro Maki House

Kokoro Maki House is way more lunch-oriented than any of the other sushi places I can think of. The menu is small and a lot of the sushi is served a la carte. But counter service prevails here, and it can be very difficult to choose what you want to order. Sushi involves lots of hard decision making and I always feel rushed at Kokoro, especially when there are people in line behind me. When getting sushi there I always feel like I miscalculated the amount I really need. Moreover, if you want something else after eating your food, you have to go up to the counter and order it, pay, then wait for it. I call bullshit on that. Sushi is a splurge food for me. I want to be waited on, and that’s that.

So recently I stopped back into Kokoro and saw something I had not noticed before: Korean dishes on the menu. Much like Cho-Ga Kokoro offers lunch boxes with a Korean entree and various accouterments including rice, dumplings, 2 pieces of maki, and a salad.

Kokoro Maki House

I know, I know these boxes are not authentic Korean, but damn it was delicious! The bulgogi was perfectly cooked, piping hot and the dumplings were little deep fried nuggets of delight. My partner’s Bi Bim Bop and accompanying kim chee looked damn good too. The pickled daikon was my favorite of the three. She claimed it was one of the best dishes of Bi Bim Bop she has ever tasted.

Kokoro Maki House

What’s more, they seem to care about presentation at Kokoro. Details like the little foil square beneath the dumplings, black sesame seeds atop the rice, and nori strips on the Bi Bim Bop indicate that these are folks who care about what they serve.

I have had the sushi here as well, and found it very good and affordable. But it has been at least a year since I tried it, so I can’t really say much more about it with any confidence.

The food does take a while to come out, even when they are not busy. This is perhaps the biggest drawback. What service they do have is fine, although the teenager at the counter was not particularly helpful and seemed more interested in texting than taking care of us. But generally I give teenagers a pass; their lives are annoying enough without some half-assed food blogger complaining about how they do their jobs.

These are great little affordable Korean lunch specials right in the heart of Waldo. For those who need the Korean fix without venturing into Johnson County, look no further than Kokoro.

Read more:

Kokoro Maki House on Urbanspoon


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  7 Responses to “Kokoro Maki House: 340 W 75th St”

  1. Kickass, thanks DLC! I have done ChoGa, and it was very good, tho they don’t seem to have the box lunches on Saturday.

    I really like Korean tho, and this is even closer to work (now I just need something out in Blue Springs or such).

    Was the pickled Daikon similar to the Kim Chee? I have heard of Kim Chee in forms other than cabbage and had a really good one from cucumber of all things once.

  2. I’ve never had their Korean dishes, but their Sushi is cheap–and you get what you pay for.

    I’d rather stroll three doors down and get Waldo Pizza, yum!

  3. That place made me sick once – the first time I tried it. I’ve never been back. And I thought the sushi sucked anyway.

    Blech! Cant believe they’re still open! I’ve never talked to someone who didn’t get sick after eating there…You’re the first, man! Congrats. ;)

  4. Look, it’s 3 days into 2009 and you haven’t made any new posts. This egregious offense does not go unnoticed by the otherwise unassuming Kansas City public.

    Why…if this blog were being manned by a REAL blogger, like, say, Ulterior Epicure, he’d have already eaten lunch at thirty-eight different places in the metro area while spending no less than $700 per meal. This, you see, is how he maintains his girlish figure and modest lifestyle.

    His anonymity, however, is about to be completely blown. I hear the Pitch is about to do a cover story exposing Mr. Epicure as the cardboard sign-wielding “Vietnam Vet” who’s “hungry and cold” and standing on the corner of 6th and Broadway.

    No longer will the people of Kansas City wonder whose trust fund is feeding him; you got a dollar, brother?

  5. I love the bulgogi that they serve. And it helps that we live nearby.

  6. I like other posters am surprise this place is still open. Its gone through changes throughout the years, each a slight improvement but nothing to get excited about. If I’m starving maybe I will try the Korean dishes but I never found the Sushi to be worth eating.

  7. I think Kokoro is great. It’s family run, and the sushi is delicious. I always get cucumber and avocado rolls. They do a great job, and the price is great. I have also had other vegetarian dishes, and they are great too. I’ve probably eaten there 50 times and it’s been great every time.