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Daily Crave

First look: Rishi Sushi Kitchen & Bar

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Rishi Sushi Kitchen & Bar is now open Downtown. It’s the latest venture for the owners of Moshi Sushi in Bexley—father-son due Song and David Kim. The menu is a large collection of share plates, sushi (from expected rolls to the quirky kitchen-sink-style rolls they are known for at Moshi), Asian burgers, entrees and ramen.

The vibe is contemporary, clean and bright with shades of neon green and orange accenting blonde wood tones. There’s a sushi bar, a regular bar and a very open kitchen (you have to walk right by the pass window to get to your table).

Over the weekend, I got a sneak peek at the menu co-owner David Kim says he wants to be both playful and representative of authentic Asian flavors. This mission was evident in the first dish that came to the table—a fried kimchi pancake with shitakes and corn and topped with melted mozzarella cheese. Though probably better without the cheese (at least for those of us who love the pungent and sour flavor of the fermented cabbage/veggies), it was certainly fun—and addicting due to a teriyaki-style sauce served on the side.

Tempura sweet potato fries with honey wasabi mayo were delightful. Crisp and salty-sweet tempura was wonderfully battered all over long cuts of fries. And you could really taste the wasabi in the mayo, more in flavor than in heat.

Ramen is what had me most excited for Rishi to open, and so I was thrilled to see it on their soft opening menu over the weekend.  Ramen is a rare thing to find (at least made well) around town. The base broth is a labor of love crafted by Song Kim, who tinkered with the recipe for months, and who takes two days to perfect each batch. It shows, as the flavor is deep and soulful. I tried Live for the Moment (they all have such names. Another was called There’s Always Tomorrow.), a huge portion served in a cast iron both with what seemed, at first, like a comically large ladle-like spoon. But I found I needed it to scoop up all the goodness in this bowl: tender pork belly, soy-hard-boiled-egg, baby bok choy, shitakes, sweet corn, bean sprouts, scallions, nori, thin ramen noodles and spicy nori. (Rishi will also offer vegetarian ramen options.)

Things seem promising at this new spot in the former Fleur space at the corner of Third and Long streets, and I’m looking forward to seeing how the restaurant develops.

Here are a few other menu items:

Fish Lettuce Tacos with sashimi grade fish, mango habanero salsa and cucumbers in lettuce cups

Rishi Ball Sushi with raw or seared sashimi grade fish served in a ball of rice topped with yuzu sauce

Vitis-Seaweed Mix, a seasoned seaweed salad with green grapes

Bibimbop Burger, a seven-ounce marinated burger with spinach, bean sprouts, carrots, pickled daikon, lettuce, sunny side up egg, mozzarella and bibimbop sauce

Spam Burger, a seven-ounce marinated burger with walnut panko spam, grilled pineapple, red onion, gouda and spicy wasabi truffle ketchup

There’s Always Tomorrow (ramen) with beef broth, grilled steak, sautéed kimchi, spinach, bean sprout, hard-boiled egg, scallions, nori, fresh wasabi

Rishi Roll (sushi) with shrimp tempura, sweet potato tempura and cream cheese wrapped in nori, and topped with a crab, apple and cucumber slaw and a honey-miso-teriyaki drizzle

Qy Roll (sushi) with tuna, salmon, whitefish, Asian pear, avocado and asparagus wrapped in cucumber and nori skin, and topped with a mango-chili sauce