Hole in the wall review: Haru’s Steak and Sushi

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A view of the interior of Haru’s Steak and Sushi restaurant in Olathe, Oct. 30. The dining area incorporates a lot of Japanese design. Photo by Tasha Cook

By Jon Parton

A view of the interior of Haru’s Steak and Sushi restaurant in Olathe, Oct. 30. The dining area incorporates a lot of Japanese design. Photo by Tasha Cook

It’s challenging to find decent sushi around this area. Let’s face it; it’s tough to get fresh fish in Kansas. The nearest ocean to us is the Pacific and it’s roughly 1,400 miles away.

Haru’s Steak and Sushi, located at 15202 W. 119th Street in Olathe, rises to the challenge with a decent array of sushi, sashimi and hibachi grill offerings.

My dining companions and I arrived during the middle of the lunch hour when it seemed the restaurant was at its busiest. The smell of chicken and steak sizzling on the hibachi permeated the air. The noise of the crowd was a little off-putting, but most of it was centered around the grills.

We were seated at the sushi bar by our courteous hostess, away from the bustle and noise. The interior favored a minimalist approach that featured Japanese artwork mixed with modern design. After much debate, we agreed to share a communal plate of various sushi rolls. Our waitress kept on top of our drink orders and managed to answer our questions even though she appeared to be serving four to five other tables.

Within a short amount of time, our order arrived. The mark of any good sushi chef is the appearance of the food produced. Spread out before us was a vibrant array of colors and hues that looked too good to eat. It was then I realized why the interior seemed so plain. The artwork isn’t found on the walls, it’s found on the plates.

The Olathe roll featured an interesting mix of super white tuna, jalapeño and asparagus with mango. The crunchy texture paired well with the sweet and hot flavors of the roll. Less impressive was the Haru’s roll, a combination of shrimp, crab and cream cheese. The sauce was good but it tasted too much like a California Roll for my liking.

The shrimp tempura roll was a decent offering until I got my hands on the Green Bay roll. This delight combined shrimp tempura with apple, cream cheese and kiwi. The sweetness of the fruit contrasted beautifully with the crispiness of the tempura breading.

Someone in the group ordered the barbecue eel roll. I never liked the idea of even trying eel. Then again, I never liked the idea of eating octopus, but now calamari is one of my favorite types of seafood.

With much hesitation, and the questioning of my manhood by my fellow diners, I ate the damn thing. I was surprised not only that I could keep it down, but I wanted more after trying it. Eel has a fishy flavor to it but with a very meaty texture. It doesn’t flake as easily as tuna does.

Haru’s is little more expensive than some places, but the size of the portions makes up for it. If you’re looking for decent sushi in Johnson County, make sure you don’t skip over this hole in the wall: Haru’s Steak and Sushi.

Contact Jon Parton, managing editor, at jparton@jccc.edu.

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