Kohana Japanese Restaurant: This Week's Dining Review



The Golf Course Roll
In the Dining column in this week's issue of the Nashville Scene, restaurant critic Carrington Fox visits the new sushi kid on the Green Hills block, Kohana Japanese Restaurant.

Actually, not just the restaurant, but the block itself is pretty new: The redeveloped strip at 2002 Richard Jones Road. Kohana anchors one end, with the upcoming Alegria Mexican Restaurant and Tequila Bar at the other.

Kohana is a new sister restaurant to existing locations in Hendersonville and Clarksville, all three owned by Doris Cheung. Fox praises the "large, sleek room" and its "dazzling decor," with bright pops of color punctuating a palette of grays and black.

Equally large is the menu of sushi rolls, with more than 70 entries, and the biggest of them all is called the Mother of All Sushi Rolls: "a $19 roll sliced into eight hockey puck-sized cross-sections and plated with a peanut-honey dipping sauce," Fox says. She elaborates:

It takes more than 17 syllables just to list the ingredients in this epic signature maki: 'a gigantic roll with spicy tuna, tempura shrimp, soft-shell crab, seasoned spicy crawfish, snow crab mix, masago and cucumber." If traditional sushi rolls cut into bite-size baubles of pristine fish and rice recall a box of chocolates, the Mother of All Sushi is more like a big honkin' box of doughnuts — warm, soft, slightly sweet, and really big.

Not every roll is a daunting blockbuster of a sushi creation. "If you seek the simple pleasure of fresh fish and vinegared rice, stick with nigiri, sashimi or the more straightforward familiar rolls," Fox says.

She also praises some of the non-sushi Japanese menu items, including a rarely seen treat, hamachi kama. "The collarbone and pectoral fin of a yellowtail were grilled until thin golden skin cracked over buttery hunks of fish — the so-called 'cheeks' — whose texture recalled succulent fried chicken."

Check out the full review, and if you've visited Kohana yourself, feel free to chime in here with comments.

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