With fortuitous timing, Bo Ling’s on the Plaza, in the Skelly Building at 47th and Jefferson streets, has opened an ultra-cool sushi bar at the start of what looks to be another searing summer.
The elegant marble two-tiered counter in front of chilled display cases, just to the left of the bar, feels cosmopolitan and the blue backlighting is a soothing sanctuary from the white hot outdoors.
But the rice is the real story here. Bo Ling’s vinegared rice, which serves as the base of their fanciful maki rolls and nigiri, is prepared the old fashioned way, is prepared the old fashioned way, in giant steamers rather than a rice machine. The resulting grains are tender and cling together without being gummy.
The maki rolls have creative names and artful presentations to match. Pictured is Yellow Submarine, a spicy concoction of yellow tail, shrimp, cucumber, masago, daikon sprouts and pickled ginger in a yellow soy wrapper. It tastes as good as it looks.
Sushi chef Jimmy Tan, a Hong Kong native, wields the knife behind the bar with skill and a knack for banter. The menu is long, with some 16 varieties of raw fish plus smoked salmon and smelt roe. Tan’s miso soup is quickly developing a local following, so don’t miss that.
The sushi menu is available at all times except during Saturday and Sunday dim sum service.
Prices range from $6-$13 for regular maki, $9-$14 for specialty maki rolls, and $4.50-$7.50 for two pieces of nigiri or 5 pieces of sashimi.
Add a signature sake-tini and you’ve got a hard-to-beat hot-weather meal.
A limited number of sushi items are available for special happy hour prices from 3 to 6 p.m. Monday through Friday.
Cindy Hoedel writes for the Kansas City Star Magazine, grows food on a half acre of land in the Flint Hills, bakes her own bread, makes killer dill pickles and sand hill plum jelly, and blogs about sustainability.