York College students Kaile Jones, left, and Katie Sweigart share a plate of sushi with friends Friday at Kissho Sushi in York.
York College students Kaile Jones, left, and Katie Sweigart share a plate of sushi with friends Friday at Kissho Sushi in York. (Daily Record/Sunday News - Kate Penn)
Whenever I go out for sushi, I mull and prioritize the must-haves for my meal. With a diverse palate, approaching so many menu options is daunting - or annoying for anyone joining me for dinner.

I usually have to ask the server to come back, at least once, but not at Kissho Sushi. I knew exactly what I wanted.

Although Japanese restaurants afford diners the option of customizing meals by ordering different appetizers, sushi, sashimi and rolls, Kissho offers lunchbox specials that combine small amounts of some of my favorite things.

I ordered lunchbox No. 4, which came with miso soup, salad with ginger dressing, a tuna roll (made spicy upon request) and teriyaki chicken with rice for $7.95.

Gi K Kim, left, and Kevin Kim prepare sushi Friday at Kissho Sushi in York.
Gi K Kim, left, and Kevin Kim prepare sushi Friday at Kissho Sushi in York. (Daily Record/Sunday News - Kate Penn)
It seemed like too much food, but I surmised it would be a healthy portion size based on the price.

Chef Kevin Kim, 42, prepared it on a tray-like dish, which reminded me of cafeteria lunch, except much classier. The variety added a little excitement to my meal and didn't bore my taste buds.

The salad was crisp, and I appreciated the extra punch of onion in the soup. The chicken was cooked perfectly with just enough teriyaki sauce, and not surprisingly, the tuna tasted fresh.

Kim works extra hard to keep it that way. He said he learned from a chef of 25 years who taught him the secret of maintaining freshness. He said a sushi restaurant's menu has to be mainly focused on fish and that he has shipments coming in two to three times a week from Baltimore, Maine, California and Japan.

Kim wouldn't reveal the secret to his fresh dishes, but he said he spends an extra half-hour a day adding his special touch.

"It's worth the extra work," he said.

Kim, a chef for 15 years, used to own a restaurant in Herndon, Va. He opened Kissho in the Colonial Shopping Center about a year-and-a-half ago after he received a call from his friend who owns the building.

"He knew a Japanese restaurant in this building would be successful," Kim said.

He said Kissho has been popular among York County residents, and he touted their sushi cred. He said people here know more about Japanese food than people in the Washington, D.C., area. He sees more orders here for sashimi, which is raw fish by itself.

"They're looking for very authentic Japanese-style food," Kim said.

"Kissho" means "happy" or "good luck" in Japanese, he said. That seemed to be the atmosphere in the cozy and calming restaurant that slowed to a lull after a Wednesday lunch.

"The people are very kind," Kim said. "We have a lot of customers that are like a friend. When they visit in here, they really enjoy the time. They are very happy."

Cheap Eats profiles local restaurants with meals for less than $10. Suggestions are welcome. Reach Leigh Zaleski at 771-2101, lzaleski@ydr.com or on Twitter @YDRCheapEats.

If you go

LOCATION: Kissho Sushi, Colonial Shopping Center, 970 S. George St. in York

CUISINE: Japanese

LEIGH'S PICK: Lunchbox No. 4 with chicken teriyaki, a tuna roll, ginger salad and rice with miso soup ($7.95)

PARKING: Yes

HOURS: 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday through Thursday, 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Friday, noon to 10 p.m. Saturday

PRICE RANGE: $1.75 to $22.95

ALCOHOL: BYOB

SMOKING: No

ACCEPTS: Cash and all major credit cards

TAKEOUT: Yes

KID'S MENU: Chicken teriyaki with rice, chicken katsu with rice, vegetable fried rice, chicken fried rice, beef fried rice

DETAILS: 848-8880