The sushi lunch at Kimono is a deal worth trying on

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Nothing beats a free lunch -- but a cheap lunch definitely comes close, and the lunch deal at Kimono Sushi Bar and Grill is a real deal. The eatery offers a limited lunch menu with assorted sushi options (including three vegetarian sushi choices); you take your pick of any three, and they're served with miso soup and a salad (both fish-sauce free), all for less than $10.

See also: - Okinawa brings Japanese veggie options to the southwest suburbs - Sushi Sasa rolls out vegetarian and vegan delights - Japon rolls up veggie sushi -- and salad, soup and more

The bright, airy dining room in Kimono is also relatively slow during lunchtime, especially compared to how crowded it can get on weekends at dinner time. Although a few Tech Center office workers who knew about this joint and were willing to drive to Parker had grabbed a couple of tables, but it was more common to see a parent hauling a crew of kids in. The slower, mid-day dining room means faster food -- and a good opportunity to catch up in relative solitude.

Pictured above are Kimono's cucumber, avocado and "vegetable" rolls -- the vegetable roll contains some avocado plus carrot, cabbage and baby greens. Served up with wasabi and ginger, it's an ideal amount of sushi for lunch, just enough to fill you up without overstuffing yourself (a problem we tend to have when ordering sushi). The rice is perfectly cooked and seasoned, the seaweed wraps firm (except on those troubling end bits, and lots of places have trouble with those). It's definitely a good lunchtime option for vegetarians and vegans seeking sushi in Parker.

The soup and salad -- a white miso soup and iceberg-lettuce salad with sweet and tangy dressing coating the bottom of the salad bowl -- come out first. The dressing is the most notable thing on the salad, a soy sauce mixture with a sweet undertone that gives it a seaweed-salad-style taste without any fish sauce.

The white miso soup is a standout, with slices of green onion and beautifully cloudy broth, warmed to the ideal temperature and spiced just right. It's soup you'll find yourself slurping down, because the spoon isn't big enough to accommodate all that deliciousness.

Use some of the cash you saved on lunch to indulge in dessert; the fried bananas are great, but we can't pass up this tempura-battered-and-fried cheesecake. It's not even remotely vegan; the kitchen takes a slice of original cheesecake from the Cheesecake Factory (graham-cracker crust and all), batters it, fries it and then tops it with a giant scoop of vanilla ice cream and a cherry. It's as decadent (and delicious) as you might imagine a dessert like this to be -- and it's definitely worth a trip to Kimono just to try this one menu item alone.

Kimono is open for lunch and dinner; call 303-840-3940.

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