Kawa Japanese

Categories: Asian, Casual, Eat-in, Take-away
Comments: 1 Comment
Published on: April 9, 2014

I stopped in at Kawa Japanese today. It’s in the Glenn Crossing shopping plaza on Oswego Road, across from the dead Kirby’s, in Liverpool. It was just after 1 PM and I had my boys with me. When we walked in, there were several booths already taken, and the gentleman behind the cash register asked us to seat ourselves at an empty booth.


It took several minutes for him to wait on us, but I can understand that as he was busy ringing out a large table of guests. It seemed like they’d requested separate checks or something. He dropped off menus, then ran off to ring out another customer. By the time he returned to take our order, there was only one other couple left.

Since this appears to be the first review of Kawa, let me describe it for you. The interior is generally dark, with lots of dark brown wood, and dark pleather booth covers. The light comes from overhead lamps hanging down into the booths. Other lights are over the bars. There’s an alcohol bar in front of the door as you come in, and a sushi bar a few feet away. Most of the overhead lights change colors, while there are red knee lights on the bars. A lighted “Kawa” sign hangs behind the sushi bar. The lighting is spectacular, and really makes the atmosphere here super!

Anydoodle, my oldest boy Ruprecht (they insisted on code names, and chose their own) ordered a lunch bento box of teriyaki chicken, while younger son Chewbacca (lord give me strength) just wanted a California roll. Ruprecht then excused himself to the men’s room. He reported that it was pretty clean, but the heat was blasting. He said it was like 90 degrees in there.

We talked for a few minutes, then our first course arrived. Soup and salad. The salad was plain iceberg lettuce, topped with a LOT of tangy ginger dressing. I like the stuff, but there was too much of it for me. I left most of it, and some of the lettuce, in the bowl. The miso soup was fairly salty, but packed with tiny squares of tofu and a lot of seaweed. I downed that. The boys both drank the soup, and ate most of their salads. Chewbacca really liked the dressing.

Our main courses arrived. My plate had two stacks of sliced rolls, California and spicy tuna, plus an order of tuna sashimi (raw fish). Ruprecht turned up his nose at the fish, but generally I like sushi. His box held several different items, from rice to California rolls and a dumpling, to the sauteed chicken. The younger son made a big bowl of soy sauce and wasabi, and we shared that. He soaked his roll in the sinus clearing stuff, while I gently dabbed the corner of my rolls in the sauce. My rolls were really good, alternately crunchy and chewy, with the tuna roll just hot enough to tickle my tastebuds.

However, I wasn’t thrilled with the tuna sashimi. These seemed to be lower quality cuts. While it was fresh, it was kind of tough (for sashimi), and didn’t fall apart in my mouth. Every other time I’ve had it here, the fish was softer, more tender. Still, it wasn’t gas station sushi.

Ruprecht’s chicken was doused in sauce, and there was plenty of it, but we both found the sauce bland. It was there, and it was filling, but the side items had more taste. There was nothing wrong with it, he said, it just lacked much in the way of flavor.

As we were finishing up, the waiter brought the soda I’d ordered at the beginning of the meal. He and I had forgotten about it! He apologized profusely, and when he brought the bill he pointed out that he had not charged me for it. For the three of us it averaged out to around $11 each for lunch with tip. I’ll happily go back later in the week for dinner again.

Service is normally very good, but since I’m writing a review I really can’t rate this one day’s experience very high, sorry.


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  1. reviewadmin says:

    I’ve been informed that Kawa has closed. Too bad!

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