I think the old proverb goes like this: "The road to hell is paved with good intentions." No, I'm not saying that the local Intentions, the one-year-old restaurant, sushi bar and nightclub in Overland Park, is a journey into hell. But it's certainly as loud as hell, and some of the karaoke singers could stand a few vocal lessons.
And maybe former Wyandotte High School theater teacher Sarah Lamar can change all that. Lamar called Fat City yesterday to announce that as of July 12, she had signed the paperwork to become a full partner with owner Rebecca Pendieu in Intentions. And she's got some changes planned. Intentions is going to become more of a cabaret. (The late Bar Natasha is one of her inspirations.)
And she's hosting singing auditions today and tomorrow.
Auditions for cabaret performers will be held today at Intentions -- 7316 West 80th Street in downtown Overland Park -- until 6 p.m. and tomorrow, July 15, from noon to 6 p.m. Auditioning performers should be ready to sing two contrasting songs. An accompanist will be provided.
I'm wondering if some of the regular karaoke singers at Intentions are planning on auditioning. Karaoke is a big deal at this venue: such a big deal that last night, one of the cooks finished preparing my Spider roll (cucumber, avocado, soft shell crab), set it up on the shelf and walked the length of the dining room -- it's as long and dimly lit as a bowling alley -- to sing a number himself.
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That wasn't the problem, really. But our server, Amanda, had mysteriously vanished, and after waiting for more than five minutes, I got up and picked up the plate to bring it to the table myself. FYI: The cook sings like an angel. The soft shell crab, however, was way off-key. Petrified almost.
Not that I didn't like the other dishes we ordered off the laminated menu at Intentions. The Asian dumplings with the wasabi-lemon aioli were delicious, and I liked the curried shrimp tacos, even if they weren't served in a crispy wonton shell, as the menu promised. In fact, it may not even have been the dish we ordered.
"We might tweak the menu," Sarah Lamar says. "The sushi is great, and we have all kinds of other great things, like fried pickles and kobe burgers."
Steaks, too. There's an 8-ounce center cut pepper-encrusted filet topped with grilled shrimp and a creamy bearnaise -- that's what the menu reports, anyway -- served with asparagus and wasabi-chive mashed potatoes. It sounds delicious, but it's $27.99 -- I don't know if I want to eat such a dish in a noisy karaoke palace (or even a cabaret, for that matter) that uses paper napkins. And with such erratic service.
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Intentions serves up a crazy quilt of culinary offerings: bento boxes (only served during the lunch hours), rangoon dumplings stuffed with spinach-artichoke dip (an interesting concept but not very good), seaweed salad, sandwiches, pasta and fried chicken tenders.
The tuna burger I tasted was really good, but all of the sandwiches here -- which include french fries, sweet potato fries or Asian slaw -- are in the Blanc Burgers + Bottles price range. It's an ambitious gambit for a place that has yet to really define itself as a restaurant. But, damn it, they're trying really hard.
Before this location became Intentions, it was a saloon called Revolver. Intentions offers a more eclectic mix of live entertainment. "We're definitely keeping Wednesday as our karaoke night," Lamar says. We'll introduce cabaret on Friday nights starting in August."