The main road running east to west across the south side of Joplin is officially known by a number: 32nd Street. But, with the influx of popular sushi restaurants dotted along this thoroughfare, it might as well be called Sushi Street.
For a city in the Ozarks, that’s pretty amazing.
Today I’d like to introduce you to the newest kid on Sushi Street: Sakura Sushi & Grill. Located in a strip mall just west of the Freeman Hospital complex, Sakura’s regular patrons include medical professionals and residents from the surrounding neighborhoods.
Inside, there’s a dining area with tables and booths, as well as a bar area (one of the waitresses here makes the best Lemon Drop Martini I’ve ever sipped).
I recently met my friend Carrie here for lunch, and ordered some hot tea.
For those of you looking for something stronger, Sakura serves sake, too (you can even order it cold, which sounds like an interesting drink on a hot summer day).
For an appetizer, we ordered edamame, a dish made from steamed young soybeans still in their pods.
Sprinkled with salt, edamame becomes a highly addictive treat. Plus, it’s kind fun to pop the beans out of the pods, too.
I noticed that several people in the restaurant had ordered bento boxes for lunch. Here’s an example of one from Sakura’s menu.
Bento boxes include a choice of one or two sushi rolls or stir-fried dishes, miso soup, a house salad, steamed rice, and edamame. It’s a lot a food for a reasonable price. Sakura offers dinner bento boxes, as well.
For my entree, I ordered the Green Goddess roll, which is a baked sushi roll that marries flavors from Japan and Mexico.
It’s filled with tempura shrimp, then topped with guacamole and tempura flakes. It sounds unusual, but it’s delicious!
Carrie, who is vegan, ordered the Vegetable Roll for her entrée. It was made with fresh cucumbers, avocados, and crunchy Japanese pickles.
Look at that pretty roll.
At Sakura, there’s a variety of sushi rolls, either fresh or baked, to choose from. And for you purists out there who want to ditch the seaweed and other accompaniments that come in sushi rolls, there are many sashimi and nigiri options. Sashimi consists solely of pieces of fish or seafood, and nigiri is the same except the pieces of fish or seafood are served atop small mounds of rice.
But you don’t have to be a seafood lover to enjoy a meal at Sakura. Landlubbers can try entrees like Orange Chicken, BBQ Short Ribs, or Beef Teriyaki (Tofu Teriyaki, if you’re a vegetarian). And if you don’t have time to dine in at Sakura, you can order your food to go.
You’ll find first-rate, flavorful food and attentive service at Sakura. With the addition of this restaurant – the third quality sushi spot on this road – people might just start believing that 32nd Street (aka Sushi Street) leads directly to the ocean.
Sakura Sushi & Grill is located at 1802 W. 32nd Street, Suite K. Click here to follow Sakura on Facebook.
To read more about my adventures in the area, visit JoplinMOLife.com.