What the Fork: Nara Korean BBQ and Sushi

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By Janna Geier and Amber Shaffer

This week, Amber and Janna hit Nara Korean Barbecue & Sushi in Missoula.

Nara is a local restaurant offering Korean dishes, including BBQ and sushi in a casual setting. Nara has been operating from its North Reserve location since 2003.

What we love about Nara:

Amber: Nara was the first place I had ever tried sushi. Within a few weeks, my friend Evan and I met every Monday and Thursday for “$1 Day,” our waiter even knew our order. By offering their discounted menu a couple of days a week, it allows people to feel comfortable branching out and trying sushi either for the first time, or trying something new off the menu.

I love that they have an outdoor seating area, which is not as common on North Reserve Street. Their staff is knowledgeable and friendly, which is always a plus.

Janna: Accessibility! Any of my fellow Missoulians who work on or near North Reserve Street understand how challenging it is to get anywhere to eat at lunchtime. Nara is close to my office and has ample parking. The atmosphere is cozy, and even though we arrived right in the middle of the lunch rush, we were seated immediately upon walking through the door and eating before we knew it.

Favorite meal:

Amber: I always have a Sunomono Salad (fresh fruit and ribboned-cucumbers in a sweet sauce) and enjoy the Cut Bank roll (ebi, avocado, scallions and cream cheese, rolled and tempura fried), or my new favorite, the Missoula roll (tempura fried shrimp, veggies, tobiko, and Japanese mayonnaise.)

On “$1 Day” I normally stick to what is on special – either a rock and roll, or California roll. I also love tobiko (flying fish roe) and escolar (grilled butterfish) off the nigiri menu (nigiri is a type of sushi made of thin slices of raw fish over pressed vinegar rice.)

Janna: I haven’t found my “favorite” at Nara just yet. This was my first time eating here and everything was amazing. I did venture out of my comfort zone and tried some of Amber’s rock and roll, and I discovered that I like eel way more than I thought I might. Everything I had was amazing… and when I say “everything”, I mean one of everything on the menu!

Okay, so that’s an exaggeration, but we did order several items and the portions were so big that it felt as though we had enough food to feed a group of five.20160908_123338

Nara Korean Barbecue & Sushi is located in the Grant Creek Town Center, 3075 N Reserve Street, Suite K. They cane be reached 406-327-0731 and on Facebook.

About Amber and Janna:

We are two Missoula girls who love exploring the food scene in the Missoula area!

Amber: Having grown up in Missoula, it has been fun to see new restaurants opening up around town. It’s a tough market – even some of my favorite places haven’t made it (Missoula Salad Company – I still miss you!) I love going on adventures both close to home and abroad. I have enjoyed trips to England, France, Switzerland and Mexico.

When traveling I try to keep an open mind and will try anything the locals think I should try. I’ve been most pleasantly surprised (Foie gras in Paris? Delicious! Who knew?) I come from a large family who places a lot of importance in sharing meals together, and that has spread to my relationships with friends as well. I’m excited to share our experiences at both old favorites and new restaurants in the Missoula area.

Janna: Growing up in a small town like Helena, options for “great food” were limited. Don’t get me wrong, Helena has some great restaurants, but they are somewhat limited in variety. After graduating high school, I traveled around, living in different places including California, Colorado, Alaska, Arizona, and North Dakota. My travels allowed me to become a bit of a “foodie.”

I’ve found everything from the best hot wings and rattlesnake (…. yes, I said rattlesnake) in Phoenix, to the freshest and best tasting seafood at Humpy’s in Anchorage. Trying new food and new places has become one of my favorite pastimes, and I enjoy sharing the experiences with family and friends. I’m anxious to continue this tradition here in Missoula. I want to hear from my fellow foodies about your favorite places for me to review!

See more photos from our adventures on Instagram @406forks.  Want us to come try out your restaurant? Contact us at 406forks@gmail.com or reach us #406Foodies. Thanks for joining us on our foodie travels around Missoula!