I think I may have discovered, with the help of my pal Bacchus Barleycorn, the coolest sushi place in KC. It's "Sakura Japanese Sushi Bar & Steak House" at the corner of 75th and Nieman in Shawnee. If you've driven past it, I'm sure you've noticed the bright, pink paint on its exterior.
When you walk in, you're greeted by a friendly staff. The place isn't fancy, and there is a small, but full bar at the back of the main dining room. It feels a bit like a cafeteria, but you quickly forget about that when you spy the TRAIN. Yes the train. It's in the central oval-shaped bar area, where a locomotive tugs flatbed cars slowly around in front of Sapporo drinkers and diners seated at bar stools. Each flatbed totes small plates of many different kinds of sushi, which are made directly in front of you by Japanese chefs inside the magical, train-bar area. The hardest part is deciding which little plate you want to take off the train to sample -- there's such a variety, it makes for some really difficult decision making. Bacchus and I, however, did not hesitate to try everything that came by in front of us. Where else in the world can you go and eat sushi off a toy train?! This is like wayyy more fun than even, say, World's of Fun.
The sushi was really good. They had everything from tuna, salmon, octopus, eel, chicken pot-skewers, fried dumplings, to fried calamari. Our bill came to $40 (which didn't include alcohol or tip), and we were able to eat eleven plates (@ $1.95) and six plates (@ $2.50). They charge by the color. The "blue plates" are a bit cheaper than the "brown plates." Not a bad price for the variety of exotic items we were able to sample! And it was well worth it to just sit at the bar, completely mesmerized by the train. Completely hypnotic.
Check out some reviews here, or read about it on Yelp. Lindsay In Lawrence has a nice thing to say about the sushi train as well!