Best New Restaurant, Kan.

One Bite Japanese Grill

After Yokohama-born Erika Koike graduated from Central Missouri State University, she decided that, rather than return to the Land of the Rising Sun, she'd bring a bit of it to the Sunflower State. Late last year, Koike opened One Bite Japanese Grill, a sleek little izakaya Japanese for a casual drinking establishment that serves more substantial food than the light snacks a traditional bar might serve. Koike's cuisine is casual, too: Japanese-style tapas, a few entrées, dumplings, spring rolls and spare ribs. But her signature dish is the okonomi-yaki — a crispy, grilled flapjack made with shredded cabbage and a variety of meats, vegetables, seafood and cheese. Koike's creations are perfect for friends to share while sipping a sake-based Chuhai cocktail or a Cherry Blossom martini. Her place isn't fancy, but it's a refreshing alternative to the familiar chain restaurants that dominate this southern suburb.
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