The other day someone asked me about my what cuisine I would pick if I could only eat one for the rest of my life. Without hesitation I said “Asian”. Not only does Asian include my beloved Indian cooking, but also includes my other favorites Thai, Japanese, Vietnamese, Chinese, and really anything across all of Asia! It got me thinking about my favorite Asian restaurants in Cleveland, and I’m sharing my favorites with you today.
You will notice that there aren’t really any Indian restaurants on this list. While we have some really delicious Asian food in Cleveland, sadly Indian is not high on this list— yet. I continue to hold out hope that we get a really bomb Indian restaurant at some point in the future.
I really enjoy Korean food, especially all the condiments that come with the dishes - so so good! Korea House was my first foray into Korean food over 10 years ago - I was introduced to it by a lawyer I used to work with who is Korean. He ordered in Korean the first time we visited, and while I don’t have the benefit of his expertise anymore, I have been very satisfied with meals I’ve had there since then. A warning that the service can be inconsistent, but the food is delicious.
Some of my favorite dinner dates with friends involve Korean BBQ, however the only downside is all that cooking on an open flame means that you end up smelling like cooked meat after the meal. My favorite Korean BBQ is Rising Grill. The staff there is pretty good about answering questions and educating non-Korean guests on how to cook and eat the BBQ, which I always appreciate.
My girlfriends and I try and get together for sushi every couple of months, and while we have a weakness for Mizu Sushi and all their fun rolls, I’m never convinced that it’s authentic. For an authentic sushi experience I really enjoy Ginko both for their traditional dishes but also for their inventiveness.
I get insane cravings for ramen every couple of weeks. Last year, Nick and I ate ramen once a week for nearly 6 months. There are a couple of spots where I enjoy ramen, including Mason’s Ramenry in the winter, but the one I eat most frequently is Xinji’s spicy miso, with a soy egg. I never change my order because the spicy miso + soy egg is so amazing that I never want to eat anything else.
I’ve mentioned my love for global street food before, and I make no exceptions when it comes to Thai food. My favorite Thai street food is Thai Thai - they’re known for their insane creative bubble teas, but do yourself a favor and get the Pad Kee Mao or Kra Prow there instead. Their food is so incredibly flavorful and if you need even more heat, their hot sauce is just FIRE.
I’m slowly making my way through Asia town restaurants and tried two that were new to me this summer with my friend Janet - Wonton Gourmet and Szechuan Gourmet. I’ve only been to both these restaurants once, and I can’t wait to go back. Wonton Gourmet is Hong Kong style street food and Janet ordered a few different things for us, that were all so delicious! I had heard a lot from Szechuan Gourmet on Instagram, and really wanted to try mapo tofu because it was one of Anthony Bourdain’s favorite dishes. It was SO good, and while I didn’t think it was terribly hot spicy, the sichuan peppers did make my tongue go numb, in a not-unpleasant way. I would definitely get it again.
If you’re in the mood for pho, you’re either team Superior Pho (this is my team) or team Number One Pho. Both are very good, it’s a matter of taste preference. However, both these spots are in Asia Town, so if you can’t get there for lunch, my downtown lunchtime favorites are Saigon (thank you for introducing me to pho) and Pho Thang, in that order. The team at Saigon is super friendly flexible and will even make you a pho without noodles if you need a low-carb version.
So there you have it, my Asian food favorites in Cleveland. Do you have some that you recommend? Drop me a comment if you do!
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