Kampai Alley is Columbia’s best sushi restaurant. That fact is implied by the prodigious amount of space it takes up in A Alley. The building has two huge stories, red and black décor, a ton of couches, and a big patio and balcony. I used to bring my computer and work on Scentsate there.
First, order the miso soup. It’s loaded with flavor and only sets you back 2 bucks. It contains soy, wakame, enoki, tofu, and green onions. (Wakame is another name for seaweed, and enoki are long, think white mushrooms that float at the top of your soup.)
I ordered vegetable sushi= avocado, asparagus, kaiware (pickled radish) and little balls of fried cream cheese. You have to ask for the fried cream cheese. The result won’t taste much like its predecessor, but you’ll love it.
My friend ordered a hotpot called nabe yaki: soft white noodles, egg, crispy shrimp, and kamaboko. Her boyfriend ordered tonkatsu: pork friend in bread, with sides of chili and sriracha sauce. They both liked their dishes.
Kampai Alley also has excellent sake and a mixed drink called “Kampai Fizz,” which is made of gin, banana-flavored spirits, and a few other things. They put a mint leaf in it too.
Kampai does not seem like completely authentic Japanese/Thai food, but that’s part of its charm. You get creative license applied to trendy food with an atmosphere to entertain a college town.
My Rating: 7.5
Recommended Dish: Miso soup
Atmosphere: Big and stylish, but not oppressive
Price Range: $15-25 per person
907 Alley A, Columbia MO 65201