08 September 2008

iZEN and the Duttenhofer's Block

The block of McMillan, bounded by Clifton, West Clifton and Calhoun, has grown into a dynamic block. Tons of thriving businesses. I guess, since the rest of the street has been demolished all the activity has concentrated into the remaining buildings.

For some reason the food here seems to be leaning Asian, with King Wok, Cilantro, Maki, Thai Express, Chef Chen Red Pepper, and an Indian place on Calhoun. These are all in this same block, along with at least a dozen other notable eateries, and numerous shops and bookstores.

Both Thai Express and Cilantro were closed Sunday, so we had to try one of the new "Asian" offerings in this block. We settled on iZen, which has only been open 3 days:

It is owned by a recent UC grad, and he greets each customer with a loud "welcome". The offerings are mainly what he calls a cheese roll, which is fish or meat, wrapped with rice and vegetables in seaweed into a roll, that is sliced and then covered with cheese and microwaved. He also has fresh sushi, tempura, smoothies, and ice-cream with fresh fruit. It works well as a take-out because the rolls are meant to be heated in the microwave for 1.5 minutes to be ready to eat, and the sushi is already plated and ready to go.

I guess this is what you could term fusion comfort food. Definitely not authentic Japanese dishes with the cheeses and sweet corn and all, but somehow satisfying. I'll be back.

Dishes are $10+. Atmosphere is bright, clean and better suited for carry-out, if you know what I mean. Only a few tables.

A few shots of the neighbors:

Tea N Bowl, Cincinnati's first bubble tea place:


Thai Express:

iZen phone: 381-5909
[where: 212 W. McMillan Street, Cincinnati, OH 45219]


Randy Simes said...

One of the best food blocks in the city. There are some absolutely amazing places up there...I can't wait to check out this new iZEN.

Anonymous said...

A humble yet terrific gyros joint at McMillan and lower Clifton Ave.