So I live in the Nati. The restaraunt/food reviews will probably not be useful to anyone outside the city–unless you decide to vacation in Ohio–, but for those of you here, here is another opinion.
I will save you the review of the new Mexican place on Colerain–I am pretty sure it is the same exact food as the Mexican place out in Western Hills, only without being able to watch people roll–where the wife and I ate last Thursday. Instead, I will begin with Saturday night’s trip to Ko-Sho Japanese downtown (9th and Sycamore, I believe).
We really enjoyed Ko-Sho. The food and the tone of the restaraunt is very simple and relaxing. The jazz playing at a proper volume contributes. And while the decor is awful (you get the feeling that in previous incarnations this space may have been both a Mexican joint and a HoJo’s diner), at least it is not loud and offensive.
We have been really into sushi recently, trying out as many fish houses around town as we can. That is what brought us to Ko-Sho, but Ko-Sho is more than just sushi. It is a traditional Japanese restaraunt. We did get sushi to start, tuna rolls and yellow fin, but then quickly moved on to traditional fare, trying miso soup (the wife is not down with miso), seafood and vegetable tempura, a small salad and a shabu shabu style dish. This last dish is the house special and the diner(s) gets to cook the meat at the table in a soy broth containing cabbage, glass noodles, mushrooms, onions and tofu . The flavor of all of the dishes was pleasant and subtle. No heat at all (I generally eat very spicy food, no matter what type of food I am eating), instead, light soy-based sauces that accentuate the flavor of the meat and vegetables.
Using my movie scale, I would give it a 76.
One note, we went to Ko-Sho at night on a weekend. There was almost no one there. Given its location near the courts , I am sure it is much busier at lunchtime during the week, but it is spacious enought that I doubt there is ever much trouble getting a table.
Take it easy