Sushi In the Springs
Two centuries ago, sushi was sold as “street food” in the food stalls of Edo, the city that became modern day Tokyo. Since then, this delicacy has risen to an art form world-wide, revered for its aesthetic beauty, healthful properties and exquisite flavors. The Springs is no exception. Whether you’re a sushi novice or a connoisseur, the expert chefs at these three Japanese restaurants will delight in introducing you to the fascinating world of sushi.
Kohnami Sushi is as inviting as a warm hug. The cozy interior with its twinkling white lights, Asian artwork and crisp white linens draws you in to enjoy Chef Jung Kew Park’s dramatic creations.
Longtime customer Ray Powell says, “It’s the best place in the city. We’ve tried a lot of other restaurants, and we keep coming back.”
A self-taught sushi chef, Park is passionate about his craft and his customers.
“For people who are new to sushi, “ his brother-in-law Terry Elzinga says, “Jung Kew will present it in a way that they will love.”
All his sauces are homemade, including the soy sauce. And once you try his specialty rolls you’ll be hooked. Like the Olympic Roll - with deep fried shrimp, asparagus, avocado, spicy tuna and other secret ingredients.
Every other day, Park receives deliveries of fresh fish. Salmon comes in whole.
Park uses a two-step process to remove the bacteria and preserve the fresh flavor. After cutting and deboning the salmon, he washes it with salt, rinses it well, then covers it with slices of onion.
For non-sushi eaters, Kohnami offers traditional dishes like Chicken and Salmon Teriyaki, Yakitori, Chicken, Shrimp or Beef Vegetable Bowls and Bulgogi - Korean short ribs.
At Kohnami, it’s a family affair—from Jung Kew’s wife Mia, whose warm smile greets you, to niece Eva and ten-year-old son Zion.
Once you experience Kohnami’s warmth, you’ll feel like family, too.
If you go: 7673 N. Union Blvd. 80920, (719) 599-8689
Kura Japanese Restaurant
For eight years, Kura, with its deep red walls and rosewood-colored lacquered tables, has offered its diners a feast for the senses, serving both traditional and Asian-fusion dishes.
Terry and Ken Wojick have been coming since 2007. “We’ve lived in Japan,” Ken says. “And we haven’t found anything better in Colorado.”
The artistry of the sushi chefs is evident as they create their one-of-a-kind sushi and sashimi dishes. The Wojicks prefer to order the sashimi dinner Omakase-style - letting the chef select the fish especially for them and present it in a dramatic red lacquer boat.
Kura’s special house rolls also receive rave reviews. One such crowd favorite is the award-winning Bronco roll, with lightly tempura-fried shrimp, spicy tuna, crabmeat and a spicy eel sauce that takes a week to prepare.
For a special treat try Kura’s small plates served with Sake or wine. Known as Izakaya in Japan, these tapas include sushi or cooked delicacies such as sautéed calamari and sea scallops.
If you enjoy razzle dazzle, sit at the Teppanyaki Grill and watch the chefs work their magic - slicing, dicing, juggling and entertaining - as they prepare everything from lobster to filet mignon.
At Kura, dining is always a culinary adventure.
If you go: 3478 Research Parkway 80920, (719) 282-8238
Sushi O Sushi
Nestled in southwest Colorado Springs, at the base of Cheyenne Mountain, Sushi O Sushi is a hidden gem. Warm and welcoming, with its shoji screens, bubbling waterfall and newly-opened tatami room, this authentic Japanese restaurant represents the artistry of its owner, Kyung Lee.
A master sushi chef with twenty-eight years of experience, Lee creates works of art from the depth of his soul.
His creations are breathtaking.
“When I make sashimi,” Lee says. “I draw a picture - with mountains, trees, rocks and flowers.”
A longtime restaurateur in Colorado, Lee has developed a loyal following. Customers come from all over the city to experience his unique creations.
“I serve fresh specialty fish that no one else in town has,” says Lee.
Selections include Hokkaido scallops, Live Razor Clams, Golden Snapper and Bonito. They serve Big Eye Tuna instead of Ahi and sometimes offer live Sea Urchin called Uni.
His special rolls are show-stoppers. The Volcano, a baked scallop layered over an imitation crab roll with avocado and cucumbers, is topped with Flying Fish eggs in black, purple, red and green to resemble a volcano erupting.
Lee also offers an Asian-fusion menu, including Panko-Styled Chicken and Pork, Teriyaki, Udon noodles and Bulgogi.
Lee’s customers are his friends, and his number one goal is to make them happy.
Eric Basco echoes the thoughts of many customers when he says, “Thank you again for the best quality fish in Colorado Springs.
If you go: 3443 Star Ranch Road 80906, (719) 576-9830