Thanks to the line at J. Gumbo’s being out the door, Date and I were fortunate enough to have gotten to try KanPai instead. It was like the Delicacy Gods were forcing me to eat locally instead of at a chain (to be fair: I had coupons and that’s why we were going to the former to begin with).
Location: KanPai is situated in a bustling yet small-ish strip center at the intersection of Reed Hartman Hwy and Cornell Road. Therefore, it is very easy to get to, but parking can be a bit of a pain since everyone and seemingly his and her mother are trying to get to Chipotle, Ruby Tuesday, and Jimmy John’s for lunch.
Atmosphere: I thought this was one of the stand-out characteristics of the place. It was nice but quiet, and it felt like Date and I were sharing a pretty intimate meal. At the same time, there was also a community high-top table that spanned the middle of the restaurant, as well as a table that surrounded an hibachi grill. Therefore, it is great to have the choice to a) watch the food made in front of you, b) enjoy a larger, informal setting at the high-top community table, or c) ogle into your boyfriend’s eyes while you enjoy your fare. Win/win/win!
Food: And speaking of fare, I enjoyed the dishes we got. Although Japanese food is always kind of pricey for lunch, we both felt as though it was a pretty good deal. I opted for the hibachi chicken (the white sauce!) and Date ordered the sushi lunch. He wasn’t blown away, and mine was above average. My favorite part was the white sauce that came with my dish. I love that stuff.
KanPai is a good place to go when Kyoto isn’t an option. It’s good and I would happily return, but it certainly isn’t the best.
Overall grade: B- [out of a possible A+]