For anyone still trying to do this, here's what works for me:
First I wanted to hide the little expand row icon:
// override the default detail row behavior of the grid since no official way provided
//get rid of detail icon
Note - you need to keep the actual icon element/column (versus .remove()) because things don't really work when it's missing.
Next I handle row clicks to show detail rows manually:
// handle grid row clicks for detail row expansion
$target = $(e.target);
// if you have links or other things in your rows that you don't want to
// trigger the detail row expansion, use an if statement to ignore them.
$link = $
// just fire the click event of the kendo detail row icon
//fix detail row spacing due to missing icon
works for me. :-)
However, it would be really nice to have the ability to do this more easily in an officially supported way.