In a culture that’s centuries old, its food has stood the test of time. With unbelievable flavor combinations and food that’s appealing to the eye as well as the palate, it’s no wonder Japanese cuisine is revered. Meticulously prepared and painstakingly crafted, Japanese food combines bright colors, contrasting spices and textures so every bite is enjoyed. Try to appreciate your Japanese food with the age-old chopsticks, they can enhance your experience, but don’t let them slow you down!

Umami
42 N. Main St.
Chagrin Falls, OH 44022
(440) 247-8600
www.umamichagrinfalls.com

Umami is that taste you just can’t describe; it’s all-encompassing, savory and satisfying. Umami in Chagrin Falls is just that, too. Serving Japanese and Chinese dishes in a small but inspired setting, Umami is a destination spot and well worth the time. Some of the best dishes on the vast menu are the roasted prawns with a blood orange vinaigrette and baby kale or the sesame yellowfin tuna served with green and waxed beans, red rice and finished in a spicy honey glaze. Umami is a place and perception you’ll visit again and again.

Ticket To Tokyo
55 Public Square, Suite 107
Cleveland, OH 44113
(216) 861-3488
www.facebook.com/Ticket-to-Tokyo

If you’ve ever visited this little local attraction, consider yourself blessed. With its large plates of homemade Japanese, Chinese and Asian inspired dishes, Ticket to Tokyo will make you feel like you’ve discovered a secret. Tempura shrimp and vegetables as an appetizer or entrée battle for first place while the chicken spring rolls take a firm second. Green tea is served with every meal and the miso soup is a steady character at this establishment. Try Ticket to Tokyo for a down to earth, quick and inexpensive visit to exotic Japan.

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Ginko Restaurant
2247 Professor Ave.
Cleveland, OH 44113
(216) 274-1202
www.ginko.danteboccuzzi.com

Take the stairs down from Dante’s white hot inferno of success and you’ll feel like you’ve stepped into Golden Gai itself. At Ginko you’ll find winding bar seats ready to fill your eyes and appetite. Sushi at the Ginko is hand-made with care and precision. Try the Zepplin specialty roll with its three different seafoods —salmon, whitefish and tuna heated with wasabi mayonnaise and cooled with avocado and cucumber. Or daringly taste test anything on the menu with its sauces: horseradish, spicy yuzu or ginger onion ponzu; interesting combinations: quail eggs and salmon; and outrageous seafood choices like sea urchin, squid or flying fish. Ginko is for travelers and adventure lovers alike.

Pacific East Restaurant
1763 Coventry Road
Cleveland Heights, OH 44118
(216) 320-2302
www.pacificeastcoventry.com

The best sushi lies at the Pacific East Restaurant in Cleveland Heights. Using quality ingredients like short grained rice, blue fin tuna and white pickled ginger are just a few of the reasons Pacific East wins compliments and accolades alike. While you’re there, try one of the many (more than 25!) sushi rolls like the “Rainbow Roll”, a delicious introduction, made with kani (crab), cucumber and avocado then topped with fish and fish roe. Or, daringly try the “Ichiban Roll,” made with a savory combination of smoked salmon and eel, filled with cucumber and avocado, and finished with fish roe. The Pacific East has delighting customers for years, see for yourself.

The House Of Hunan
18 Public Square
Medina, OH 44256
(330) 722-1899
www.thehouseofhunan.com

Sink into one of the chairs at The House of Hunan and ready yourself for a savory and satisfying Japanese, Chinese and Asian inspired meal. With its fresh sushi, pad thai, curries and noodle dishes you can travel the East and never leave home. Chef specialties like the spicy three cup chicken or tofu dish with basil, chili and garlic is a flavor combination not to be missed. Or try one of the sushi rolls like the “Nemo,” made with tempura shrimp, spicy crab meat and cucumber, with smoked salmon and eel sauce on top. The House of Hunan is a wonderful introduction to the flavors of Japan.

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Marissa Burke is a happily adventurous wife, mother and runner. Living in Lakewood, Ohio she searches neighboring communities for exciting food and drinks that are good and good for you in the Cleveland area. Her work can be found at Examiner.com.

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