Table Talk

New Downtown option offers creative spin on Asian cuisine


Rishi Sushi Kitchen & Bar, which takes a modern and classic approach to Asian fare, opens Monday, March 3, in downtown Columbus.

The force behind Moshi Sushi in Bexley has taken over the narrow space formerly occupied by Fleur, 114 N. Third St.

Co-founder David Kim said the 2,200-square-foot space is both contemporary and comfortable, using lacquered butcher-block tables at the two bars – sushi and cocktail – and in the dining area.

The interior features an open kitchen with shiny new equipment, high ceiling and wall-to-wall windows overlooking busy Third Street.

A small second-floor space seats 25 for 85 seats total.

Kim said Rishi stresses quality and added there’s a touch of flair in almost every dish.

“It’s just our take on Asian fare, a creative approach to Asian fare,” he said.

“I want to change people’s perceptions of Asian food.”

Burgers, made from 21-day dry-aged beef, are served on locally made brioche buns. The signature bibimbap burger offers the traditional toppings found in the popular Korean dish, such as bean sprouts, pickled daikon, shaved carrots and an egg sunny-side up.

The place also hopes to become known for ramen, he said.

The noodles are fresh, not dried, made from a manufacturer in New Jersey.

The signature broth, using pork and chicken bones, takes 48 hours to make, as does the beef broth. Vegetarian and seafood choices also are available, he said.

“It’s a lot of broth,” he said. “We felt having more options may satisfy more palates.”

The dinner menu offers a wide array of starters, ramen and burgers, plus sashimi, nigiri and signature rolls.

Most items are priced less than $15. The restaurant hired veteran sushi chef Johnny Kustomo, who’s worked at a number of local restaurants, including Haiku and House of Japan.

Kim said the restaurant built the lunch menu with value and efficiency in mind for the midday crowd. Most items are in the $7 to $12 range.

Desserts, made fresh locally by the Angry Baker in Olde Towne East, include green tea tiramisu, passion fruit creme brulee, Chinese five-spice chocolate torte and fresh berries and cream.

Kim and his father, Song, have vast experience in the local restaurant scene and are a creative team in the kitchen at Rishi.

Other partners include Moshe Mizrachi and Sudhir Dubey.

All opened Moshi Sushi five years ago at 2152 E. Main St. in Bexley.

Much thought was put into the cocktail program, Kim said.

Rishi recruited mixologist Phillip Richardson of Basi Italia to put together the signature-drink menu.

The “harmony,” for example, uses dry gin, cherry liqueur, triple sec, Benedictine, bitters, fresh pineapple and house-made grenadine.

There’s also a selection of wine and beer by the bottle, but room for just two taps.

Kim acknowledged parking is an always an issue downtown but is betting on Rishi Sushi and the emerging residential base.

“People will find it, if the food’s good,” he said.

Rishi is open lunch and dinner weekdays, dinner only on Saturday and closed Sunday. For more information, call 614-914-5124.