You might not be able to tell from its plain-looking building, but Thai 9 Thai and Sushi Restaurant is often mentioned as one of the best Asian cuisine places in Dayton. The Thai food place is situated on the edge of downtown and the Oregon District — where many of the city’s more cultured establishments are situated. Spend any decent amount of time around this city, and you’re certain to run into one local or another who swears Thai 9 has the best food they’ve ever eaten.
There are a lot of Chinese places in Dayton, and the generically named China Buffet could not be more basic. It’s got a big variety of dishes in its extensive buffet, but the place unfortunately leaves much to be desired. With bland dishes and uninspiring flavors, China Buffet is every bit as forgettable as its name. I love buffets and I’ve probably visited a few too many in my life. They have a definite charm. There are good buffets in Dayton, but this is unfortunately not one of them.
A family business opened in 1991, Le Chatelaine now operates three upscale little locations in north Columbus. A bistro and a bakery, the little shop brings a variety of French soups and sandwiches to the table as well as baked goodies and plenty of pleasant atmosphere to go around. It’s well suited to sit and read a book or chat with a friend over a quiet meal for a long time, and that atmosphere by itself makes the place so magnetic it’s hard to resist going back.
Right along the major Graceland Boulevard shopping district in northern Columbus, the China Garden Buffet sports a huge set of options for a lunch and dinner buffet of all kinds. The place is fairly straightforward; lunch is $6 and dinner is $9 for access to at least a hundred options of various kinds. You name it, it’s here, this place has quite a wide range of selections and I can’t imagine a more well rounded menu. For all of the options, I’m not sure anything stands out as particularly outstanding.
With a location in most of the major cities of the United States, McCormick & Schmick’s comprises a rather complicated chain of 87 restaurants under a dozen different names; all of them are upscale grills specializing in seafood and catering to formal diners. An exact menu is impossible; each location has a new menu printed daily with the specials available there. Fine dining that is found only in the ritziest locales nationwide, McCormick & Schmick’s caters to the upscale, high-class diner who has a very special dinner in mind.
Right in the middle of the Dayton Mall and Centerville commercial district, Golden Dragon is one of nearly a hundred restaurants serving Dayton’s southern-most major business strip. This time of the year, the Dayton Mall area attracts tens of thousands of people daily. Nestled at the end of a line of chain restaurants, Golden Dragon nonetheless ensures potential customers won’t miss its giant sign.
Lui Lui Restaurant has a menu that is hard to describe. In summary, it is a classic fine dining eatery with a distinctly Asian twist. Traditional pasta and chicken or lamb dishes are interspersed with Asian items on the menu. The menu also includes sushi, pizza, and seafood dishes.
At China King on Court Street, simplicity is the key to success. The small Athens restaurant wins numerous food awards from local newspapers every year. At first one is probably not impressed with the unassuming little joint. There are certainly larger buffets in town. But there’s a charm that brings people back again and again. With its central uptown location, China King is easily among the most visible places to eat for college students, and its large international student following implies it brings many from the Far East a little taste of home.