Dining: Spots to Look Out For

There is a swath of development around the city’s restaurant scene, with several new places opening in the next few months.  Where should you be heading?  Why not try some tricked-out Asian cuisine, or hit up a food truck turned bricks and mortar?

Asian Invasion

Kaze, pronounced like “kamikaze” without the “kami”, it’s the newest Zipperstein restaurant (think Embers, Trio) and opens in the old Color Building on Vine Street in November.  They’ll be doing sushi (with former Embers sushi chef Hideki Harada at the helm) as well as Japanese-style pub food.  They’ll have a beer garden, dining room, and bar which will slowly open starting in November, with a grand opening in January.

Quan Hapa, across the street from Kaze on Vine, is run by the proprietors of Pho Lang Thang at Findlay Market.  They appear to be about halfway through their buildout, and are also hoping for a November opening.  I sampled their food at the Asian Food Festival, and they’re doing some creative things– think Korean barbecue tacos and miso- and sesame- infused lobster rolls.

Straits of Malacca, owned by Paul and Alvin Liew (Paul is a former chef at Jean-Robert’s table), has brought Malaysian cuisine to Cincinnati.  Mason has some of the best Asian cuisine in town (Su Ra, Arloi Dee and Sichuan Bistro), so this will fit right in.  Lunch is casual, but dinner is white tablecloth upscale.  If you’re not familiar with Malaysian cuisine, it has several influences: India, Thailand, China and Europe have all lent their touches.  It will definitely be unique.

Food Trucks Set Up Camp

Pizza Bomba, which premiered last year as an innovative, interesting food truck (think pizza topped with pork belly and kim chee, or overflowing with macaroni and cheese or crab rangoon) is setting up shop in Covington, near the Kenton County Library (14 E. 5th Street).  They’ll be doing dine-in, carry out and delivery to a limited area.

Cafe de Wheels, the grandaddy of Cincinnati food trucks, will be taking its Tower of Power and Wheels Burger to a window on Short Vine.  Base Camp 1 will be attached to Dive Bar and feature his burgers and fries (sure to appeal to hungry college students and bar goers).  They’re in their final permit stages and should be open shortly.