Cilantro Thai & Sushi Restaurant in Downtown Akron Delivers Next Level Flavor
When you enter Thai Restaurant & Cilantro Sushi, it’s a sensory experience.
The aroma of good food, the glow of white lights and the buzz of dinner conversations combine to form a welcoming ambiance.
For the first time in a long time, my wife, Susie, and I spent a Saturday night in downtown Akron. I suggested the cilantro because I really missed the food.
Before the pandemic, I had ordered take-out there dozens of times, tasting such dishes as pad thai, singapore noodles, fake duck basil, stir-fry cashews, tofu rama, and various rolls. sushi – and I’ve never been disappointed once. However, I had never dined inside.
Owner Charlie Somtrakool from Thailand opened the stylish restaurant in 2009 at 326 S. Main St. next to Canal Park. The space previously housed Piatto until Chef Roger Thomas moved to the Sheraton Suites in Cuyahoga Falls. Prior to that, the building operated for over 70 years under the name of City Loan Co., First Federal Savings & Loan Association and Charter One.
You would never know it was a bank. As a hostess led us through the long, narrow restaurant, we passed through a front dining room, sushi bar, cocktail bar and lively kitchen before arriving at our table in an elevated area of ââthe spacious back room.
Cilantro has a funky and energetic vibe. The hardwood floors have an inlaid star pattern. Modern decor includes origami-style chandeliers and green fabric chairs with wooden arms and legs. The white tablecloths are covered with white butcher paper. The silverware is wrapped in orange cloth napkins.
âThe color scheme is really pretty with sage and orange,â commented Susie.
So many choices
The contactless menu, viewed with smartphones, offers an impressive range of Thai-Japanese cuisine. The menu is divided into “Starters”, “Classic Thai”, “House specials”, “From the sea”, “Sushi”, “Japanese flavors” and “Desserts”.
There are many options for vegetarians, pescatarians and carnivores, and many dishes can be made gluten-free on request. If we start at the top and go down it could take decades to try everything.
We were there to have fun, so we did.
To start, we ordered coriander corn cakes ($ 7), golden fried sweet corn fritters served with fresh cucumber slices and ground peanuts in a sweet chili sauce. The light and airy donuts were very tasty, but the chili sauce – sweet, tangy and nutty – really added another dimension.
âThe more sauce you put in it, the better,â said Susie.
I couldn’t agree more. Soon we were running out of sauce and donuts, craving more.
Then I was treated to a bowl of coconut milk soup ($ 7), made with freshly squeezed lime juice, coconut milk broth, sliced ââmushrooms and cherry tomatoes. With a choice of chicken or soft tofu, I chose the former. Rich, warm, creamy and smooth, it was absolutely delicious. The restaurant could bottle that up and give Campbell and Progresso a run for the money. Make sure to try it if you are going to Coriander.
For the main course, I ordered Tofu Rama ($ 15.95), a favorite of my days to go. It includes sautÃ©ed tofu seasoned with ginger and curry powder on broccoli, carrots, baby corn and cabbage, served with Thai peanut sauce and white rice.
How do I begin to describe peanut sauce? Succulent. Delectable. Celestial. It clings to the other ingredients and enhances them all. Cilantro sauces add a depth of flavor that many restaurants lack.
In no time, I cleaned my plate. (If you’re not a fan of tofu, don’t worry: a chicken option is available.)
For her main course, Susie ordered Thai Basil Fried Rice with Chicken ($ 15.95), made with stir-fried rice, eggs, basil, red peppers, green peppers, white onions, and onions. green. Fresh and vibrant, it was a colorful dish with a generous portion.
âIt’s very good,â said Susie. âIt’s a good mix with basil and peppers.
The guests control the level of Coriander spices. On a scale of 1 to 5, my wife and I chose 2 which is considered average. We were happy with our choice. If we had gone much higher we probably would have needed a fire extinguisher.
âMy tongue is definitely tingling, but I would definitely get the same level of spice next time around,â said Susie.
Cool it down
With all that heat, we cooled down for dessert. We shared an order of fried bananas and ice cream ($ 8). The fried slices are wrapped in wonton, topped with honey and sesame, and served over coconut ice cream. The crispy wrappers offered an unusual texture for dessert, but they just got better the more we munched on. Bursting with grated coconut, the ice cream was exotically sweet.
I would be remiss if I did not mention our server, Michelle, who was pleasant, caring, answered all of our questions and returned frequently to make sure everything was to our satisfaction.
We were pretty full when we left. It felt good to have fun. With drinks and tax, our bill was $ 70.21, tip not included.
We really enjoyed our dinner at the Cilantro Thai & Sushi restaurant. It was nice to see so many people dine at the restaurant after years of downtown construction and pandemic closures.
Cilantro is the perfect place to head to before a show at Akron Civic Theater, a ball game at Canal Park, or an event at Lock 3.
Thai. You’ll like it.
Mark J. Price can be contacted at [email protected]
Place: Thai Restaurant & Cilantro Sushi
Address: 326 S. Main St., Akron
Lunch times: 11 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Monday to Friday
Dinner times: 5 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. Monday to Thursday, 5 p.m. to 10 p.m. Friday and 4:30 p.m. to 10 p.m. Saturday
Service options: Dinner on site, curbside pickup, delivery
Alcohol: Beer, wine and specialty cocktails
Outdoor terrace: Seasonal