Dragon King’s Daughter: A unique Japanese dining experience

By on February 21, 2012

By Cody Hibbard–

Among the abundance of restaurants located in the highlands lies a quiet and cozy change of pace from most of the noisy and obnoxious diners on Bardstown Road. The Japanese-American cuisine based restaurant, Dragon King’s Daughter, successfully produces not only affordable and delicious food, but also an overall enjoyable atmosphere that will surely leave you with a pleasant experience.

When I first walked into Dragon King’s Daughter, I noticed the dimly lit, spacious layout and nice mellow tunes softly playing in the background. What attracted me to Dragon King’s was not only the idea of sushi at an affordable price, but the attitude of a style of cooking that honored traditional styles of Japanese cuisine, all while breaking the mold of mundane sushi.

After I seated myself next to the windows with a nice view of Bardstown Road, a quick once over of the menu left me a little awe struck. They had it all covered, cooked and uncooked sushi, tacos with an assortment of toppings and a large selection of appetizers to choose from. After I studied the menu, I was finally able to decide on a few sushi rolls that would cover various assortments of flavors, some of which I had never tried before.

Though sushi rolls are made fresh to order, the wait was short. It didn’t take long for a large, square shaped dish covered in a variety of sushi to arrive. First was the Italian Picnic roll, consisting of asparagus tempura on the inside of the roll and prosciutto, toasted pine nuts and fresh basil with a Japanese mayo drizzle on the outside. The fried asparagus added a nice crisp to the roll and the fresh basil helped to justify the name.

I also tried the Spider Roll, a deep-fried soft shell crab roll drizzled in unagi sauce. This was my personal favorite roll of the night. Simple, yet full of flavor and the crab was absolutely delicious. Their uncooked rolls were packed with amazing combinations as well. The Frosty Sunbeam consists of mango and cream cheese on the inside, with salmon and avocado on the outside. The blending of flavors is plentiful throughout the meal at Dragon King’s Daughter.

Vegetarians, do not be disheartened; there are plenty of veggie sushi rolls to choose from with several combinations of appetizing foods. The Vegetable Roll proved to hold its own ground against the flavor of its carnivore competition. Cucumber, avocado, stewed sweet squash and pickled daikon radish provided a nice blend and flavorful finish.

What I find to be one of the better benefits of Dragon King’s is the fact that a group of friends can go out to eat, order an assortment of rolls for a fair price and share a mixture of their favorite flavors, allowing for an experience that opens one up to new flavors, or different foods they may not have ever tried before. I had my first experience with eel in this manner and though I had always been afraid to try eel, it turns out that I really enjoyed it. Whether you are looking for traditional Japanese or an interesting take on sushi, Dragon King’s Daughter will surely satisfy any palate.

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Photo: Cody Hibbard/The Louisville Cardinal

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