Tampa Bay sushi restaurant reviews are mixed. But Kona Grill near International Mall is a culinary delight and giant among concepts known for traditional fare.
If you’re looking for a helping of côte de beouf villette, wild boar terrine, or some other French cuisine peppered with hazelnuts, forget about it; this is not the place for you.
But if you’re in search of traditional Japanese sushi with a touch of American attitude, and the best place in Tampa Bay to feast on California rolls, lobster rolls, and popular items found on most menus, Kona Grill is a place among titans.
For beginners, this sushi restaurant is located in the midst of everything convenient to the Bay Area, like the airport, Florida’s beaches, entertainment, shopping, and other fabulous places to dine in the Sunshine State.
I first discovered this diamond in the rough while visiting Sin City to witness the opening of the Station Casinos’ Red Rock Hotel and Casino.
Nestled in Fashion Village at Boca Park in Summerlin, Kona Grill is a favorite among locals even as it competes with other branded concepts. While juggling the list of eatery possibilities, we landed on this culinary jewel. And one bite of the Kona Calamari leaves your breathless like you’re romancing the stone.
Fast forward to the Tampa, Florida location and the culinary surprises continue in rapid succession. Just one glance at the menu, and it’s obvious much thought went into its preparation.
Outside of the common Asian items one expects to see at a sushi restaurant in Tampa or anywhere else, Kona Grill goes one step further by offering an array of dishes that tempt your palate just by reading the menu description.
Take the Macadamia Nut Chicken for example. This dish is not just some other poultry concoction that serves as menu filler. Once it lands on your table and you take the first bite, you realize there are a host of flavors at play.
From the succulent tender portion of chicken, a shoyou-cream sauce with a pineapple-papaya marmalade finish leaves you longing for more.
It doesn’t stop there. If you’re lucky to get to the mammoth-size dessert portions, a red velvet cake or key lime pie choice is in order. Just be prepared to share.
As far as the service is concerned, be prepared to be pampered like the Royal Family, as southern hospitality takes the place of feigned fine dining servants.
Having traveled to hundreds of restaurants and eateries throughout the country, this “Best Kept Secret” is out of the bag. The price points are reasonable and could easily follow along the hefty wallet busters along Wilshire Blvd. along the Washington D.C. corridor, or in New York’s Soho District.
Just tell them I sent you, and say hello to the management. Oh, pickles; they will probably beat you to it, and leave a warm friendly smile behind. But that my friend is totally free.
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Address: 4134 W. Boy Scout Blvd
Tampa, FL 33607