Lemongrass

641 N. High St.
Columbus, OH 43215
614.224.1414
website

The Short North has seen a massive influx of new restaurant concepts and top-notch restaurateurs open its doors in the past few years. Comparatively speaking though, this restaurant has been around for an eternity. The combination of Thai and Japanese menus, centered around good sushi and finger foods has definitely kept it distinctive amid the more American focused menus that have popped up to the north and to the south. I think for that reason there are not many similar Asian restaurants springing up to challenge this one for his dominance. With good reason. This restaurant is a gem.

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Sushi is the thing you have to try on the menu first.

  • The Bowl: In practice a giant bowl of udon noodles with a sweet and salty broth and chopped meat on top. For added fun? Topped with both crispy wontons and crab Rangoons. Very filling. Pick those wontons and rangoons out quickly, honestly, because they lose a lot of the charm once they’re soggy.
  • Pad Thai: Stirred in peanut sauce, bean sprouts and lots of chicken and tofu. Get it spicy, it’s best if you really like heat with this one because it’s very well-balanced. Not too much peanut.
  • Rangoons: Far better than your average take on this, these fried wontons are filled with crabmeat and shrimp, none of the watered down alternatives.
  • Wontons: Not bad, but not my first choice, because they’re heavy on the wrapper and the filling can be a bit thin.
  • Yakitori: This skewer dish has a peanut sauce that makes it just swell. Good to share when hungry.
  • Rainbow Roll: Wrapped salmon and tuna give a full, fresh flavor. This roll only does well when the ingredients are best.
  • California Roll: Definitely a vanilla role but a good filler for other sushi.
  • Old Fashioned: This cocktail is always best, I think, when you let the whiskey speak for itself and let the citrus and sweet play second fiddle. House has a good pick.
  • Mai Tai: A little on the sweeter end, but nonetheless a strong drink.

The ambiance of the restaurant tends toward more casual, thanks in part to the cavernous interior that is very welcoming to the small groups and the couples, both of which tend to hang out around Short North at dinnertime. This place is more popular though because it’s probably the best sushi and Asian cuisine in the district and not insane on pricing.

There’s staying power in this restaurant and it’s kept up well for its place in the Short North. The prices aren’t bad nor are the crowds, if you know when to go. But go you should.

Recommendations 

  • Happy hour deals add a lot of value here, best early in the evenings and often on weeknights.
  • OpenTable reservation recommended.
  • Apps here are great. Worth a try.

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