Glistening crabmeat, avocado, and cream cheese lay atop a bed of rice in an artful, rectangular array, like an edible piece of abstract art. With swift hand gestures, the sushi chef lifts one side of the rectangle and begins to roll it up, transforming it into a cylinder that shows no immediate evidence that fresh fish and vegetables are hidden inside. Sushi chefs perform this and even more intricate sushi rolling techniques all day at Susaki, coming up with fantastical presentations and pet names for their specialty rolls. Back in the kitchen, the rest of the culinary team grills steaks and seafood with teriyaki sauces and spices, letting their scents waft into the contemporary dining room to announce their arrival. Among angular walls and black leather banquettes, DJs spin tunes each weekend, filling the space with high-energy beats while diners recline in the low-lit lounge amid flat-screen TVs and enjoy custom drinks from the full bar.
At Star City Kitchen and Bar, chefs mingle Mexican flavors with hearty homestyle American food. They fill salpicon tacos with avocado cream and layer ham steak, burger patties, crispy onions, and chili con queso in the Chuco Stack. These kitchen gurus also elevate simple potatoes to haute cuisine with the mashed potatoes of the day, which can boast a number of wild flavors that range from caramelized almond and vanilla to peanut butter and sriracha. In good American fashion, they serve breakfast all day, and keep their doors open 24 hours throughout the weekend.
Taking inspiration from the US Senate chamber after the swine uprising of 2066, they’ve decorated their inlaid bar with graffiti art and a statue of a pink pig. Adding to the festivity, colorful star lanterns hang from the ceiling's industrial-chic metal beams.
The hum of live performances echoes across The Percolator, where guests meet over mugs of organic coffee and plates of gourmet sandwiches and sushi. Chefs usher in the day with eggs, meat, and vegetarian breakfast wraps before moving on to lunch and dinner to assemble chicken pesto or herbed goat–cheese sandwiches along with seven specialty sushi rolls. Lattes, mochas, and creamy coffee frappés start days or cap off meals, and a selection of beer and wine rinses off incisors. As customers sip and dine, they lounge at the cafe's numerous tabletops beneath local artwork and vibrant murals on the crimson walls. A stage hosts a rotating schedule of live music, poetry slams, and theater nearly every day, offering visitors a welcome reprieve from frustrating evenings of teaching a pet tortoise to roll over.
The owners of local hotspots Hudson’s, Pelican’s, and Ale House have banded together again to create Corner Tavern and Grill, a casual sports bar and restaurant. The aromas of hearty chili and housemade kettle chips draw guests into the lively eatery—nestled in the heart of the Cincinnati district—where chefs also fire up grilled fish tacos, meaty burgers, and spicy buffalo wings. As a team of bartenders blends tasty cocktails, diners can catch a broadcasted game and wash down meals with craft beers such as Young’s Double Chocolate and Magic Hat. On select nights, the tavern invites local DJs to inspire dancing and games of vinyl frisbee with their infectious beats.
Though Chef Ron Fineron specializes in bar-food staples, he eschews traditional flavors in favor of his own unique creations. His Angus beef burgers, for instance, incorporate quirky ingredients such as lemon-peel aioli and pineapple pico de gallo. Ron's eclectic approach to cuisine—on display as late as midnight on Friday and Saturday—gels perfectly with The Network's diverse lineup of entertainment. Every week, performers including open-mic comics, DJs, and live musicians take the stage amidst The Network's exposed brick, which the proprietors often adorn with work from local artists.
SOHO Cocktail Lounge serves up piping-hot bar food and piping-cold beers in an understated, eclectically modern environment. With DJs and elixir mixers straight out of the Liquid Phunk School of Bartending, SOHO keeps things laid back and comfortable. While the staff up front spin records and bottles, the kitchen cooks up platters of pizza, hot "dawgs," and steamy paninis and pita wraps. There's also a stage standing at the ready for live music performances and spur-of-the-moment campaign rallies.