Dec 192010
 

Exterior

I can’t say the name of this restaurant without whispering it faux-sexily, in the manner of commercials for douchey local strip clubs.

Intentions…

Intentions opened up last year in the downtown Overland Park space previously occupied by a club called Revolver, which I had never visited. It had the outward appearance of a dance club straight out of the 90s but closed down several years ago and stood vacant for some time. The concept behind Intentions is an odd hybrid of semi-upscale Asian food and live music.

While sushi is the heart of the menu, they offer everything from wraps to chicken fingers to steak. The food is pretty tasty and prepared with care but I never know what to order for lunch. Do I really want a burger from a sushi place? Is this even a sushi place? Many menu items have been sufficiently “enhanced” as to be inspired by sushi and not necessarily the real thing.

The specialty maki (rolls) run between 10 and 13 bucks each and are probably large enough to fill most diners, but not everyone. Smartly, Intentions typically offers a few specials which the chef will be more than happy to tell you about in great detail. Great detail.

There is typically a daily special of one of the simpler rolls (California, avocado, cucumber) and a side salad for 4.95. That sounds cheap but it isn’t much food, at least not for this fatass. One day I tried the “lollipops,” on special which are basically a tempura-fried roll, topped with raw salmon and surrounded by rice. They are presented on toothpicks thusly:

Lollipops

They tasted good, but were exceedingly difficult to eat, falling off the toothpicks and eluding chopsticks. They were not particularly filling or worth the $11 I paid for them. At any rate I prefer a simpler, more traditional sushi experience and I’m happy to say that Intentions can provide it.

Sushi

The nigiri are larger than most and fresh in taste and appearance. The side salads are very good, with a homemade asian-inspired dressing. Alas they add way too much, which overwhelms it.

Salad

A large space in the rear of the restaurant provides a stage, bar and lots of seating for the nighttime crowd. For lunch I prefer to sit up front where some windows provide some natural light. There is a decent lunchtime group but seemingly not enough to warrant the presence of 5 or 6 employees who are always milling around.

Unfortunately there is also a flat screen TV blasting 80s metal videos in the front room. It was sufficiently loud one one visit that I had a very difficult time hearing the chef describe the specials from 10 feet away behind the bar. Apparently, the focus here is on being a club that serves food rather than a true restaurant that can stand on its own. Similarly the servers get the job done but seem like they would be more comfortable dishing drinks to drunk chicks and working the door. On a side note, one server referred to me variously as “partner,” “chief” and “boss” during a single visit.

Nonetheless Intentions is a fine choice for lunch in the area, and more or less fits the middle of the road, white person nightlife vibe provided by other nearby businesses like Taste, Maloney’s and the Other Place. I hesitated to post about this place because I assumed it would be out of business in short order. So kudos to Intentions for getting over the initial hump. While not really my style of vibe, food or decor, they must be doing something right.

Intentions on Urbanspoon

Pangea: 900 W 39th St – CLOSED

 Posted by at 12:17 am
Oct 172008
 

UPDATE: Fat City reports that Pangea is closing at the end of December 2008

Ever since I started blogging, folks have been telling me to hit up 39th street eatery Pangea. I have been putting it off however because it is located in that tacky, newish strip mall which just seems so out of character for the neighborhood. It’s also down closer to SW trafficway than the heart of the 39th street restaurant scene. If I go to that area, I usually opt for a place closer to the state line.

But this place has specialized in lunch and lunch only for several years. That makes it hard for me to ignore. Of course, they started serving dinner recently and after my trip there, I think this is a good move for them. But they offer interesting, decent food and have a nice business of lunchtime regulars.

First of all, this place is purty.

Okay well it is a little too shabby chic for my taste–not in a charming, do-it-yourself way like Happy Gillis, but more like an I-spent-ten-grand-at-World-Market kind of way.

But you have to admit that it is still a pleasant space with a soothing color scheme. Naturally that made me worried.

A chalkboard hanging above the counter displays the lunch menu. I’m not sure if the menu actually changes or if the ephemeral medium is merely an aesthetic move. There is a lot to choose from and it’s a hard decision. Why hard? Because you can’t wrap your head around what is going on. I imagined Pangea to be a soup and sandwich kind of place, but its menu is all over the map. Represented cuisines include Irish, Argentinian, Mediterranean, Italian, Jamaican and Thai. If that isn’t enough they offer three soups, four salads, a full dessert menu and of course the ubiquitous panini sandwiches.

Anyhow, you order at the counter, pay and sit down. At this point an employee comes out and brings you silverware and a napkin. That’s a nice touch I suppose. They also come pick up your dishes when you are finished. It’s like table service only without all the annoying stuff that involves communicating with people. People can be so irritating.

Due to a near caffeine overdose, I was not overly hungry so I opted for the chicken panini with Artichoke spread, thin sliced red onion & tomato on Ciabatta Bread. I have to say that I would try something else next time, but only because aforementioned artichoke spread was distinctly reminiscent of mayonnaise.

Have I ever mentioned how much I loathe mayonnaise?

Anyhow, I’m going back to try one of the so-called small plates for lunch. The people around me were getting some seriously delicious stuff delivered to them while I meditated to my happy, mayonnaise-free mental space and dutifully ate my $8.50 sandwich. It came with a damn good little salad too, dressed with homemade balsamic vinaigrette, which at this point I think you could call a guilty pleasure.

Pangea is a little expensive I suppose. I’m normally looking for table service if I’m gonna pay upwards of 15 bucks for a meal (which you can easily do here). But it’s not a total scam like The Mixx. And they have beer and wine available for all you drunkards out there (I know pot, kettle, all that jazz).

I’m not usually a fan of menus that are this varied, but I think Pangea might be on to something. I need to make many more visits to confirm this, but I’ll bet almost all of it is tasty. And that’s the point: this is the kind of menu that keeps you coming back to try more. If they make a damn good gnocchi, why not go back for the pad thai? All my friends who are good cooks can make any kind of food taste great.

I don’t have much else to say at this point but I wanted to get Pangea on the map here. If y’all have eaten here, tell me what’s good.

Read more:

Pangea Cafe & Market on Urbanspoon

Yelp