Lafayette Restaurants |

Kokoro Japanese Cuisine

Kokoro Japanese Cuisine

Japanese, Sushi

526 Main Street, Lafayette, IN 47903
Phone: 765-742-8180

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Rating: 2.6/5 (29 votes cast)
Cuisine: Japanese, Sushi
Address: 526 Main Street, Lafayette, IN 47903
Phone: 765-742-8180
Reservations: Not accepted.

Kokoro has been a favorite for Greater Lafayette and Purdue sushi lovers for almost forever (or it seems that way anyway). The wait for your food can get a little long some nights, but all of the reviews say it’s worth the wait. Kokoro is located on Main Street in historic Downtown Lafayette, and is walking distance from the downtown parking garage. Some street parking is available.

12 Responses to “Kokoro Japanese Cuisine”

  1. Matt says:

    I live in Indianapolis where there at least dozens of place to get sushi. Bottom line, Tony makes the best I’ve ever had, and I gladly drive an hour and 10minutes to get it. Tony maybe rude, but I dont care. Best Sushi Period

  2. Brent says:

    Kokoro is a bad attempt at bringing new food to Lafayette. The food was decent but way over priced for what you get. The sushi is nothing new. It consists of large amounts of rice loosely tossed around small chunks of fish. The Unique twist that Tony claims to put on sushi is nothing but higher prices and larger quantities of food.

    Kokoro looks like a rip off when you compare it to Asahi, or Maru. The service was good, only because of the one nice Lady that took care of our table.

    BE WARNED the rumors of the OWNER YELLING at customers are TRUE. TONY is out of control and is making a huge mistake by turning away business in such a small city. I witnessed him yelling and SWEARING to a couple on a date. This is not a place for conservative eaters.

    I would NOT RECOMEND this to anyone. Check out Maru for lunch or Asahi for dinner. These places offer better food and better prices.

    • Jim says:

      I have to assume that you have only tried one or two things that Kokoro has to offer, so I guess I have to disagree with you on several points.
      1. As far as I know Kokoro was the First true Sushi in lafayette it was NOT a “bad attempt”, it was the first.
      2. Isahi, and Maru are good and more traditional Sushi restaurants, but they lack the originality that Kokoro offers.
      3. Tony’s Cuisine is a Fusion of many styles, not just “Japanese Sushi”. I would recommend, trying his hibachi offerings or his Noodles, and he has by far the Best Miso I have ever had.
      4. Tony IS the Sushi Nazi, but that is part of the unique atmosphere of Kokoro.

  3. Maddy says:

    Love this place, I already know is going to take some time until the food comes but is all good. Tony is unique in his way as the restaurant is too.

  4. Dr. B says:

    Kokoro was alright until about a year ago when Tony decided to fund his building renovations by raising his prices well beyond what the food is worth. His rolls do taste good and are often larger than usual, but waiting over an hour for a 20+ dollar California roll is silly.

    If you want the sushi that the local Japanese people like, go to Heisei. It was originally built by guys who were brought over from Japan to run the SIA plant.

  5. Craig says:

    I love this place! Yes Tony can be rude, but the best chefs often are. I love the way he combines different ethnic foods and I do like his sushi. The thing I like best is when you go there it is what it is. He cooks his way and to hell with anybody else’s opinion. We need more of this at the fine dining level. I also like his entrées especially the chicken kimchee dish and the Yakisoba. I’ll be sad when he stops cooking.

  6. z says:

    If food quality and taste matters to you and you are not rushed for time… there is no better sushi. If you have not tried his calamari you are doing your self a great injustice, its a big portion (as is all his food) so bring friends.
    Try the fried rice (one of the simplest dishes) and you can tell the difference in Kokoro’s cooking philosophy and anyone else’s. and yes there is a philosophy involed :)
    happy eats.

  7. Jesse Janowiak says:

    I disagree with the other commenters so far. Yes, Tony is a curmudgeon, and he gets very cranky sometimes. However, his sushi is some of the most outstanding sushi — some of the most outstanding FOOD — I have ever eaten.

    I recommend going at lunchtime and sitting at a table. If you avoid the sushi bar, you don’t have to deal directly with Tony, and his wife (the only other employee) is a very nice waitress.

    To address the other commenters’ complaints:

    Jake sounds like he has a certain standard for sushi that includes tightly packed rolls and aesthetic presentation. If that sounds like you, you won’t be impressed by Kokoro. Kokoro’s sushi is all about the flavor, and it is DELICIOUS!

    Laura was treated rudely, and that is not rare from what I’ve heard. If you can avoid direct interaction with Tony, you’ll probably have a great time (but a long wait!) If you can put aside your American “the customer is always right” expectations for one meal, it’s definitely worth it.

    Kate may be right about the bland food if she ordered something other than sushi. Sushi is Tony’s specialty, and everything else is just to give people who don’t like sushi something to eat.

    In summary:
    1.) DO go to Kokoro to eat the sushi
    2.) DON’T expect to be treated like royalty
    3.) DO sit at the restaurant tables
    4.) DON’T sit at the sushi bar unless you enjoy Tony’s churlish attitude
    5.) DON’T go if you are on a schedule

  8. Kate says:

    Kokoro may have good food if you hit it on the right night when the owner is in the right frame of mind. That was not my experience on the two nights I had dinner there. Who wants to eat sushi from a grossly dirty sushi bar with a sushi chef who is screaming at the waitstaff? In addition the food I got after a long wait was expensive and mostly tasteless. Bea One, Bluefish Grill (or something like that- new place) and Heisei in West Lafayette all do it much better. (But if you want great sushi you’ll have to go to a bigger town :)

  9. Laura Nierstheimer says:

    Jake, I could not agree more. I don’t understand what the fuss is over this place. I have never been treated so shamefully by any food establishment as I was the first and only time I had the misfortune of being dragged into Kokoro by ex-friends. Sure, the food was good – but not THAT dang good!

  10. jake says:

    Kokoro for some reason has a reputation that DOES NOT fit it! The sushi is never rolled well and falls apart before you can even pick it up. Tony, the chef, is comprable to the Soup Nazi of Seinfield except that he lacks the humor. Rude is rude, and that is the one thing he does well.

    If you want good sushi go to Asahi, if you want GREAT sushi go to Bea One


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