banana blossom (new thai in ohio city)

My latest review for Metromix happily took myself plus a few hungry girlfriends to Banana Blossom, a fairly new Thai restaurant in Ohio City. Personally, I was quite excited for this restaurant. I absolutely love Thai food plus I greatly enjoy spending any amount of time in Ohio City. And while it’s the most common dish, pad Thai is one of my favorite dishes – ever. Lemon Grass years ago used to make my favorite version, but they have gone down hill. Mint/Peppermint is still pretty descent and I also enjoy Phnom Penh (though truthfully, last time it fell short).

Here’s part of my review, or you can read the full piece here:

Slightly off the beaten path in Ohio City, where Halite and Jazz 28 once stood, houses the latest addition to the area’s ever growing mix of ethnic eats. The latest occupant is a tiny Thai restaurant called Banana Blossom.

Food: Though small in size, this family restaurant boasts a massive menu with more than 65 choices. Many of the dishes are recognizable Thai favorites; some more unique.

The menu is sectioned into appetizers, soups and salads, noodles and rice, create-your-own curry, seafood, signature items and a handful of vegetarian options. Prices for dinner range from $2.95 to $17.95 (look for a separate lunch menu, too).

Our table started with traditional chicken satay ($6.95), fried shumai ($5.96) and crab rangoon, a house specialty ($6.95). The rangoon, with its oozing cream cheese, was the favorite, though the shumai was a close second.

While the appetizers were a nice beginning to the meal, perhaps next time the wiser choice would be to bypass any tempting starters and jump right to the main dishes. Not only are the portions quite generous, but this is where, in our opinion, the kitchen really shines.

Our dinners, served family style, included the wildly popular pad Thai ($10.95), prik khing (red curry) salmon (deep-fried salmon with asparagus and housemade prik khing sauce ($16.95) and chili duck, a super crispy half-roasted duck with veggies and a spicy chili sauce ($17.95). Our entrées were served with brown and jasmine rice.

The duck was clearly the standout and a dish not to be missed. It was simply wonderful and an order of this alone is worth the trip in. The pad Thai, something we have sampled at nearly every Thai restaurant in town, can easily hold its own. The beautifully-cooked salmon proved to be another wise choice.

To finish off the meal, chocolate banana spring rolls and mango sticky rice with ice cream. Good enough in terms of satisfying an after-dinner sweet tooth, but definitely solidified our opinion that the main entrées are the star of this Thai eatery.

Décor: This tiny square restaurant is very clean and minimal in style, with a bright orange coat of fresh paint donning every wall, a handful of artifacts sprinkled throughout and a long bar overlooking the scattered tables. While not much in terms of ambiance, it’s simple and clean and seems to work.

Bottom line: Perhaps it’s the location itself, but for whatever reason, this space tends to quickly overturn restaurants. Our hope is that the word quickly spreads on Banana Blossom and that this proves to finally be the restaurant with some staying power.

8 Comments

  1. Posted January 11, 2011 at 9:13 am | Permalink

    Nice review- I can’t wait to try it! It’s great to hear that a solid Thai place has moved into a space not too far from where we live. And I noticed on their website that they have partnered with Delivermefood.com, which we use a lot!

  2. Tracy W.
    Posted January 11, 2011 at 9:25 am | Permalink

    We had a great meal when they first opened… the food was great! They have a really good pad thai. The service was very fast and friendly too.

  3. Martin
    Posted January 12, 2011 at 12:49 pm | Permalink

    Glad to hear about another new Thai restaurant in town. Lemon Grass has been extremely disappointing the last few times that i’ve been there.i know they have gone through lots of changes and clearly, their quality has suffered with that.

    Bangkok Thai in Lyndhurst is currently my fav. I know, from the outside, it doesn’t look like much, especially it’s strip mall location, but the food is always outstanding and quite affordable.

  4. Posted January 14, 2011 at 1:26 pm | Permalink

    I’ve never heard of this place, I’ve been planning on going to Mint/Peppermint for months and never got around to it. I absolutely love Ohio City, I might have to go here first. Thanks.

  5. Posted January 15, 2011 at 12:15 pm | Permalink

    was just at peppermint last weekend and need to go back again. it was delicious

  6. Posted January 19, 2011 at 2:52 pm | Permalink

    How did I miss this review? Yes, I need to check this place out! I agree about the location…it’s tough…it’s like right on the outskirts of everything else and seems to get missed :(

  7. Jen.
    Posted January 24, 2011 at 4:26 pm | Permalink

    De-lish. A great boon to the near west side and they have delivery, which is even more of a boon in Cleveland.

  8. Anya
    Posted February 3, 2011 at 4:29 pm | Permalink

    My husband and I have eaten here 2x a week since it opened, we have been so pleased with their takeout (for busy parents on the go….)defintely hope it stays around this time!

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