🔎 5 to Try: Post readers pick JoCo’s best restaurant hidden gems

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This week, we’re going off the beaten path. (But not too far — we’re staying in Johnson County.)

The 5 to Try is our weekly chance to shout out our readers’ Johnson County favorites — and usually, that means picking places that many people already seem to know a lot about.

But everyone has that one favorite spot that others, for whatever reason, seem to be sleeping on.

So, this week we asked Post readers to give us their best kept culinary hidden gems. And they delivered, with out-of-the-way breakfast spots to a “hole in the wall” sushi joint.

If you’re looking for a new spot to shake up your typical dining rotation, here’s your opportunity.

Mediterranean Taste (Overland Park)

Hidden gems Johnson County
Falafel from Mediterranean Taste. Photo via Mediterranean Taste website.

This week’s list starts off with Mediterranean cuisine.

Mediterranean Taste in Overland Park offers an extensive menu, from salads and sandwiches to rice platters and desserts.

Readers specifically mentioned the eggplant salad, lamb gyro, baba ganoush and homemade pies.

“It is a family run operation, with carryout, and limited table space, but some of the best Mediterranean inspired food I have ever had, and I have travelled in Turkey and Morocco,” said Post reader Mary Ann Wyrsch.  “The family is warm and welcoming, and eager to offer explanations for food items that may not be all that familiar to some.  It appears that everything is made on the premises and is very fresh.”

Mediterranean Taste operates at 12635 Metcalf Ave, in the Metcalf 127 shopping center.

It’s open from 10:30 a.m. to 8 p.m., Tuesday through Saturday, and from 10:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday. It’s closed on Mondays.

Ika Grill Sushi & Pan Asian (Leawood)

Hidden gems Johnson County
Veggie sushi at Ika Grill. Photo via Ika Grill Instagram page.

Family-owned Ika Grill serves a range of sushi and Asian favorites.

The menu ranges from traditional rolls and dumplings to salmon bowls and asparagus tempura.

Post reader Diana Lauck Healy shouted out the restaurant for its “great sushi, wonderful service and a nice patio for outdoor dining.”

Ika Grill operates at 11725 Roe Ave., in Leawood.

It’s open from 11:30 a.m. to 8 p.m. Tuesday, from 11:30 a.m. to 9 p.m., Wednesday through Friday, from 12 p.m. to 9 p.m. ,Saturday and from 12 p.m. to 8 p.m., Sunday. The restaurant is closed Mondays.

Wooden Spoon (Overland Park)

Hidden gems Johnson County
A breakfast burger at the Wooden Spoon. Photo via Wooden Spoon Facebook page.

The next restaurant on this list is for the early risers.

The Wooden Spoon serves up breakfast classics, from scrambles and omelets to corned beef hash and lemon ricotta pancakes. Readers specifically recommended the coffee and avocado toast.

“It’s a small joint but nice to meet up with a friend during the week,” said Post reader Kate Doherty. “The menu has a good selection that I don’t think you could go wrong.”

The Wooden Spoon operates at two different Overland Park locations — one at 4671 Indian Creek Parkway and another at 11823 College Blvd.

Both are open from 7 a.m. to 2 p.m., Monday through Friday and from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m., Saturday and Sunday.

Elsa’s Ethiopian Restaurant (Overland Park)

Hidden gems Johnson County
A variety of dishes from Elsa’s Ethiopian Restaurant. Photo via Elsa’s website.

Elsa’s offers Ethiopian cuisine in downtown Overland Park, near Thompson Park.

The restaurant’s menu ranges from samosas and veggie soup to beef tibs and tikil gomen (or Ethiopian cabbage).

In addition to meat dishes, the menu also features plenty of options for vegetarian and vegan customers.

Elsa’s Ethiopian Restaurant operates at 8016 Santa Fe Drive.

The restaurant is open from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday. It’s closed Sundays and Mondays.

Story (Prairie Village)

Hidden gems Johnson County
The wagyu burger at Story in Prairie Village. Photo via Story Facebook page.

The final item on this list isn’t just for a restaurant but for a specific “hidden gem” menu item.

Story in Prairie Village offers a range of “new American” cuisine, from smoked duck empanadas and risotto to swordfish and beef tenderloin.

But Post reader John McLeese specifically recommended a menu item that he says is “hiding in plain sight”: their Wagyu burger, which is offered as a special on Thursday nights.

“I am quite positive that burger aficionados far and wide are not aware of this ‘hidden gem,'” McLeese said. “So the next time you feel like splurging, do something unusual, go to one of the finest restaurants in town and order a hamburger.”

Story operates at 3931 W. 69th Terrace, at the Shops of Prairie Village.

It’s open from 4:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. Wednesday through Sunday. The restaurant is closed Mondays and Tuesdays.

About the author

Lucie Krisman
Lucie Krisman

Hi! I’m Lucie Krisman, and I cover local business for the Johnson County Post.

I’m a native of Tulsa, Oklahoma, but have been living in Kansas since I moved here to attend KU, where I earned my degree in journalism. Prior to joining the Post, I did work for The Pitch, the Eudora Times, the North Dakota Newspaper Association and KTUL in Tulsa.