Cleveland is proud to be home to so many amazing cultures and nationalities. Our Asian/Pacific American community is a huge part of what makes us who we are. As we celebrate Asian/Pacific American Heritage month this May, make your way to these delicious eateries to support some of the many Asian-owned businesses in CLE.
Everybody loves hibachi. The crispness of the vegetables and “just right” char on the meat, mixed with that tremendous umami flavor, is second to none. And while the display of skill and genuine entertainment that a hibachi chef can provide is masterful, sometimes you just want to get a good meal without all the fanfare. Soba founder Jingbao Xiao – a veteran of a full-scale hibachi restaurant and restaurant industry lifer - hit on this simple, yet effective concept and is producing high quality hibachi with the freshest ingredients at his Coventry eatery that marries modern, urban design with an Asian theme.
Since he opened Shinto in Strongsville in 2004, Sheng Long Yu has never rested on his laurels. He’s since added no fewer than 8 restaurants to his portfolio, the newest of which is Ipoke, a Hawaiian poke restaurant stationed at Innova Living in the Hough neighborhood. Guests build their own poke bowls starting with rice or mixed greens (or both) and then piling on the freshest, most colorful toppings you can find. Choose a protein from raw salmon or tuna, tofu, and cooked shrimp, crab or chicken. Top it off with one of their flavorful sauces, and you’re on your way to poke paradise.
One of Sheng Long Yu’s many restaurants mentioned above is Hell’s Fried Chicken in University Circle, opened near CWRU’s campus in 2020. Hell's keeps it simple, offering crisp and juicy fried chicken tenders, wings and thighs, along with the appropriately named “Spicy as Hell’s” house sauce (seven sauces offered in total). Expect even more spicy, savory goodness at the new Parma location set to open in May 2021.
Enjoy a taste of Kathmandu at Nar Pradhan’s newly re-opened Himalayan Restaurant in Bellaire-Puritas. Specializing in traditional recipes from Northern India and Nepal, Pradhan saw the new restaurant as an opportunity to introduce Nepali food to the mainstream while giving our local refugee community a taste of home. Many items on the menu will be familiar to those who frequent Indian dining, but other items, like their famous Momos (vegetable dumplings), introduce customers to a cuisine and culture they may have never otherwise come across.
Jackie Kim was reassessing her Aji Noodle Bar restaurant when the opportunity arose to join forces with Chef Song of the recently-closed Downtown gem Sapporo. The result: Hako, a fantastic new sushi eatery in Lakewood. A longtime fixture in the Cleveland restaurant scene, Kim and Song’s newest venture offers nigiri sushi, sashimi and various rolls, along with appetizers, teriyaki dishes and noodle bowls. With a pedigree like that, diners are assured a singular sushi experience in CLE.