Saturday, March 22, 2014


If you hadn’t noticed, last year we got into a bit of a blogging rut. With the winter we’ve had, you can hardly blame us for hibernating.

That said, the situation was getting pretty sad. We were still going out a lot, visiting some of our favorite, regular spots, but we were neglecting to try any of the new restaurants, and subsequently, write about them.

“We’ll try them later.” We reasoned. “We’ll save that one for a special occasion.” We promised. “It’s too cold to walk up there right now.” The excuses kept coming.

No, we didn't. Honest... we ran out of gas. we... we had a flat tire. We didn't have enough money for cab fare. David's tux didn't come back from the cleaners. An old friend came in from out of town. Someone stole our car. There was an earthquake. A terrible flood. Locusts!

It got to a point where it was almost embarrassing. We’re supposed to be foodies, dammit. And yet we hadn’t been to places like Kaze, which had been open for over a year. A few weeks ago, I finally couldn’t take it anymore and decided to do something about it. The walk up was cold. It was rainy.

And holy-hell was it worth it.

David’s a big sushi fan, whereas I’m still holding out on that front. Luckily there are plenty of things that appealed to both of us on Kaze’s menu. We’ve been back twice now, and from what we’ve had, Kaze’s more than secured a regular spot in our rotation.

The pork buns are a thing of beauty. Glazed pork belly, spicy frisee lettuce, crunchy fuji apples and a zingy mustard vinaigrette are amazing together, surrounded by a fluffy steamed bun that has a bit of sweetness to it. I liked them so much I ordered them twice. During the same dinner.

these buns are the bomb

The kobe sliders with cheese, pickles and crispy onions were also very tasty, with a strong beefy flavor. Plus, I’m a sucker for “mini” foods of all kinds. I did wish the patties had a little seasoning in them, though. We ended up using some of the soy sauce on the table for our burgers.

Kobe slider with aforementioned second order of pork buns

Other than the pork buns, the skewers are a showstopper. I practically squealed with delight when I saw they were cooked over flames, the way I’d seen them made on shows about traditional Japanese cuisine. We’ve tried the beef, and chicken and the mushroom, and they are all exceptional. The beef and chicken are probably some of the best we’ve had anywhere, and are incredibly tender.

Mushroom Skewer

And of course we have to try the ramen. Made with bok choy, pork belly, and containing a poached egg, the soup was perfect for a chilly day. I especially enjoyed it because we’ve been watching David Chang’s “Mind of a Chef”, which induces what you can only call “ramen envy”.

It’s a known fact that in every episode of "Mind of a Chef" David Chang will mention ramen at least twice and eat it at least once.

David tried a variety of sushi, including a special that day. We sat at the sushi bar, which is fun to do if you want to watch the staff work. Plus, they’re happy to answer any questions about the menu, what they’re working on, or the restaurant.

One of David's pet peeves at sushi places is what we've been calling the "wasabi test". Traditionally, a small bit of wasabi is supposed to be placed under the sashimi. Sadly, many places neglect to do that. When we noticed the staff carefully placing a smidge underneath each piece, I knew we'd arrived at a place that does sushi exceptionally well. 

Special of the day
King Salmon, goldeneye, and uni (sea urchin)

In an attempt to balance out the amount of pork belly we’d consumed, we also ordered the Kaze salad, with avocado, cucumber, radish, shishito, and shiso vinaigrette. The addition of a fried lotus root gave the salad a fun exotic touch.

We have yet to try the happy hour, which is in the bar in the back, but are going to remedy that soon, as sushi is half price and cocktails are $5. Rumor has it that they are working on a tiki themed drink menu for spring, as well, which I can’t wait to try.

Beer selection at Kaze is also pretty stellar. Not only do they have the usual Sapporo, their  draft list includes local brews and rotates often.

The Riki Tea-ki
We’re not huge dessert people, but with how great the rest of our meal was, we were curious. We ordered this chocolate ganache dessert with puffed rice, hazelnuts, malt and raspberries. Despite being full of pork belly and sushi, we polished it off too.

Throughout the entire meal, we were kicking ourselves for not getting to Kaze sooner. If you never try new things, you may be missing something awesome. Following that line of reason, we decided to give Uber, which had just arrived in Cincinnati, a spin for a ride home.

We'll definitely be using Uber again, we had a great and easy ride home. They are running a promotion right now where your first few rides are free, too!

Kaze on Urbanspoon

1 comment:

  1. The vegetarian sushi at Kaze is among the best I've ever had. That salad looks amazing, by the way. I'm looking forward to going to Kaze and checking it out.


I try to be honest, fair and keep a good sense of humor in my posts--I would appreciate if you follow the same policy with your comments.