Aloha Hawaiian BBQ & Asian Bistro to open on West Fifth Avenue.
Aloha Hawaiian BBQ & Asian Bistro soon will join the restaurant-laden West Fifth Avenue corridor and serve up its own brand of quick-serve Asian cuisine.
Set to open in the next week, the restaurant takes over 2,500 square feet of space in the Shoppes on Fifth, where Buffalo Wild Wings and Five Guys Burgers and Fries are located. The former Panda Express location seats about 60.
The family-run restaurant was born of the culinary diverse background of Ken Tsai, the chef and partner who has spent 50 years cooking in the restaurant business.
The new enterprise, 974 W. Fifth Ave., reunites Tsai with Jin Su. The two met while working together 30 years ago in their native Taiwan.
Ricky Tsai, son of the chef and also a partner, doesn't want the restaurant's name to be misunderstood. Aloha will not serve Hawaiian cuisine, but rather will draw on the state's reputation as a melting pot of Asian cuisines. The style of food has become increasingly popular on the West Coast, he said.
"You don't see this in the Midwest. This is something we wanted to bring to the area," said Tsai, whose wife, Sammi, will manage the restaurant.
The menu focuses on a smattering of Hawaiian entrees, many of which use the restaurant's three homemade barbecue sauces -- katsu, teriyaki and Hawaiian barbecue -- which offer their own sweet, distinctive tastes. Pork, chicken, shortribs and beef are marinated for 24 hours before being cooked to order. Other dishes, such as the shrimp and mahi-mahi, are deep-fried.
The menu delves into several Asian cuisines: Japanese, Thai and Chinese, with several noodle dishes -- soups included -- and stir-fried entrees. A few salads and starters are part of the lineup, as well.
For logistical reasons, they shied away from sushi but do offer spam musubi, a Hawaiian dish that riffs on Japanese nigiri, a firm square of grilled spam on top of rice and held in place by a band of nori.
Tsai said he recognizes the competition from nearby restaurants such as CoCo's Grill, Happy House, Nong's Hunan Express and Mark Pi's Express, so most prices at his restaurant are in the $6.25 to $7.95 range. Alcohol is not served.
Aloha is open for lunch and dinner daily. For more information, call 614-298-9688.
The Goat tavern has opened at 5730 Silver Falls St., off Hayden Run Road in the Dublin area. It's the third in central Ohio. At 8,000 square feet, it's the biggest store yet, and offers two volleyball courts with access to a nearby pool.
The place offers a standard tavern bill of fare, including burgers, pizzas, wings, salads, sandwiches and appetizers. The first Goat opened in 2003 in New Albany, followed by another location in Gahanna.
The UA Pub has moved just a hair down the street to a bigger location.
The nine-year-old bar now occupies a 2,700-square-foot spot at 2096 W. Henderson Road.
Owner Jason Eisenhauer said he completely rebuilt the interior of the space, which used to be a salon. He's also in the process of building a patio.
On a related note, the pub has introduced food service, although it's limited because there is no hood system. The menu includes traditional tavern fare, such as subs, panini sandwiches, pizza and wings.