Tiger + Lily is an Asian restaurant that embraces tradition as well as modern-day cooking styles.

For example, the new downtown Columbus restaurant in the former ZenCha Tea Salon at 19 E. Gay St., conspicuously avoids pork and uses turkey -- both unusual traits for an Asian restaurant but not modern cooking.

"We're really focused on making healthier versions of traditional dishes," said Kirsten Chang, who opened the restaurant with her husband, Thomas. The couple were born in China and spent years in Europe before settling in America.

Kirsten Chang said Tiger + Lily is her vision.

Tiger represents bold and spicy flavors while lily signifies light, health and balance, she said.

Tiger + Lily offers build-your-own bowls, which use white rice, brown rice or mixed greens.

Protein choices include Korean-style kalbi beef, which has a fruity barbecue sauce.

Each order can be finished with one of three sauces: yum yum (citrus), tiger salsa (spicy) or gomayo (a signature aioli).

All ramen soups are made with a chicken-stock base that is cooked for 10 hours.

The menu includes a vegetarian version of a "dry" ramen -- meaning no broth -- for which tofu can be substituted for turkey.

Most individual entree choices are priced $10 to $14.

A happy-hour menu offered weekdays features a number of starters and a variety of tacos -- a steamed bun, or bao, also is available -- including five-spice braised chicken and kalbi. All are priced $4 to $9.

Just about everything is made in-house, Kirsten Chang said, with the noodles being an exception.

An example of scratch-made fare is the layers of homemade crepes for the chocolate-ganache crepe cake.

"I'm full of ideas," Kristen Chang said. "That's me."

Tiger + Lily serves beer, and the Changs have applied for a full liquor license.

Other beverages include bubble teas and fruit coolers, which are made with loose-leaf green tea.

Hours of operation are 11:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. Mondays; 11:30 a.m. to 9 p.m. Tuesdays through Thursdays; 11:30 a.m. to 10 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays: and closed Sundays. For more information, call 614-928-9989.

====

Cloud 9 Bar & Grill has replaced the Gooseneck Tavern in Powell.

Said to be serving all-natural food, the restaurant has a number of classics and more than a few interesting finds, including seared yellowfin tuna, bacon-wrapped beef medallions, braised pork shanks and a spicy paneer (a type of Indian cheese) pizza. All pizzas use dough made in-house daily.

The restaurant has 24 beers on tap, including many craft options, with more selections by the can and bottle.

Cloud 9, owned by Siva Tida and Venkat Gundu, is at 9721 Sawmill Road. It occupies 4,000 square feet and seats 175, including the patio.

====

Giordano's, a Chicago-style deep-dish pizzeria, is open at 2137 Polaris Parkway in Columbus.

The restaurant, which takes over a former Buffalo Wild Wings location, also offers thin-crust pies, sandwiches, Italian dishes and dessert.

====

A First Watch is under construction in the Gateway near the Ohio State University campus.

The breakfast-and-lunch operation, one of 195 units nationwide, is scheduled to open July 10 at 1567 N. High St.

====

Short North Parlor Room, 1126 N. High St. in Columbus' Short North, is closed "while awaiting a pending sale," according to a note on the door.

====

Also closed is Shaista Grill Express, which served Afghan cuisine at 5230 Bethel Road in Columbus. It is being replaced by Hong Kong Express, according to a new sign above the storefront.

gseman@thisweeknews.com

@ThisWeekGary