Strang Hall in downtown Overland Park is introducing a sushi bar concept, as one of the food hall’s original chefs takes on a second kitchen.
Chef Brett DeHart, who runs the adjacent taco kitchen Fénix, officially launched Tora Zushi on Tuesday at Strang Hall, 7313 W. 80th St.
“I’m honored that Strang Hall trusts my skill and talent,” DeHart said. “And also, the people have loved the cuisine that I offered there. It’s merited me to be able to open a second location.
“I feel good; it’s been stressful anytime you open a restaurant, there’s a lot of hours that you put in the weeks coming and leading to, and the week of. As a chef, you’re like a mother hen trying to train everybody and make sure every detail and thing is correct, flavors, etc.”
The kitchen’s name is inspired by DeHart’s nickname, which his Japanese master chef gave to him at Nara Restaurant, where he made sushi for a few years after opening that restaurant in 2008. Tora means “tiger” in Japanese.
“I’ve never had a nickname my whole life, but that was the nickname that stuck, and everybody called me that at Nara Restaurant,” DeHart said.
Tora Zushi has many of the traditional sushi and sashimi menu items that may be more familiar to customers.
DeHart said he hopes his customers will take note of the signature rolls on the menu because they are his own creations.
“We’ve got a lot of neat stuff on the menu,” he said, adding that the Strang Roll seemed to be the most popular during their kitchen’s soft opening last week.
“Sushi is one of my fortes in my culinary catalog. It’s hard to say any favorites. Everything that I create, it’s literally my own creation and twists and flavors, so anything I put on the menu, usually it’s going to be unique to my concept,” he said.
The menu also features some hot entrees, such as the Kobe Beef Burger, Pan Fried Ramen and Nikko Fried Rice, which appears to be a crowd favorite. The full menu is available on Strang Hall’s website.