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Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Cilantro

Place:  Cilantro
Website:  http://www.downtownakron.com/go/cilantro  (their actual website doesn't work)
Location:  326 S Main St, Akron, OH 44308  Google Maps

Quick Blurb:

Finally, I have some Thai food that tastes like Thai food – in Akron! While they do have other Asian dishes on the menu, the Panang curry that I had was delicious! Very cool, modern décor and big floor to ceiling windows created an atmosphere not too often felt in downtown Akron; it rivals Crave on the décor, but wins out on food.

Review:

Appearance:
The outside appearance is nothing special. They do have valet parking, and it’s cheap! I think I remember it being only $3! I drove around twice and then thought, eh, forget about it. Inside, the sushi bar sits on what seems to be a second level, which makes it stand out from the rest. The bar is centrally located and, attention area restaurants, tables are very spaciously placed.

Staff:
Upon entering, we were greeted with a friendly smile and seated promptly, as we had reservations. Our server greeted us with a smile and spoke slowly and clearly. I liked his clam demeanor. He explained the different spice levels and recommended not going for the highest, 5. I took 4 and appreciate his suggestion!

Meal:

Appetizer:
We were with another couple and split two appetizers: Spring Rolls and Crab Rangoon. Now, I am aware that neither are necessarily Thai, in fact Crab Rangoon is classified as “American Chinese”, but my favorite appetizer, Tod Mun Pla, wouldn’t have been a favourite of anyone else on the table. Next time I go, I will be selfish and order these.

The Crab Rangoon, while not my first choice, were the best I’ve had. The Spring Rolls, while good, had an egg roll feel to them. The outer wrapper was reminiscent of a Spring Roll, but the inside just didn’t seem right. It was OK, but I wasn’t thrown back.

Entrée:
As I said earlier, I went for the Panang Curry, with beef. Let me say that I usually am hesitant about ordering beef in curries or sauces in restaurants, as the quality usually isn’t the greatest; not so here. The beef were nice slices and not a trace of fat clinging on. To say I was pleasantly surprised would be an understatement. The sweetness of the coconut milk shined through and the dish was just delicious. As I’m typing this, I feel like going back!! ….hmmm maybe I will tonight….
I ordered level 4 spice – this was my limit. I like spicy food but this border lined on being too hot to enjoy. Next time I will definitely get a level 3. The main portions were very large. Next time I will suggest we get a variety of dishes and share them across everyone. That way we can taste a variety of foods.
Ultimately, everyone else at the table enjoyed their meal as well. When asked if we would return, we all answered with a defiant YES!
Deserts:
The dishes were large – people had leftovers and I finished mine. Not deserts to be had!

Drinks:
They have Singah beer and I will stick to that next time. I ordered a martini to start with, simple straight up martini, and it was filled with so much vermouth, it may have well been straight vermouth. Not a fan. I think if I see the male bartender there, I will stick with beer.

Prices:
Total bill for 1 appetizer, two main dishes and 3 drinks, with tip ~$50.

Overall Experience:
I am really excited that Akron has a great Thai restaurant to go to. It may be a while before I try their sushi because there are so many delicious plates to enjoy on the main menu, why get sushi? The décor is fun and modern, something you don’t see too often in Akron. While we sat in the front room, there is a back room that I understand to be very different in style. Maybe when I go back I can get a different experience.

Definitely go – even if Thai isn’t your favourite cuisine, they had some Chinese dishes on the menu as well. Enjoy!

Also, take a look at the photos on the wall – my photographer friend has some of his collection showing! http://www.lanceandersonphotography.com/








Cilantro Thai & Sushi Restaurant on Urbanspoon

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