With its clean design and open space, dark wood, and live plants, Kanji is a peaceful lunch spot when you need alone time, but the menu also suits groups seeking shared dining experiences.
Start with the miso soup. Neither bland nor oversalted (capital offenses of bad miso), it doesn’t overshadow the star of the show—sushi. Kanji serves three types: regular rolls, specialty rolls, and nigiri (rice usually topped with raw fish or roe). The spicy salmon roll (with cucumber, avocado, and spicy mayo) delivered a gentle kick powered with flavor while the creamy crunch of the Tokyo roll (crab, cucumber, tempura flakes, sesame seeds, and Japanese mayo) set it apart.
Don’t forget to peruse Kanji’s collection of sake, wines, and draft and imported beers. Above all, cocktails come bold and sweet with names like Elm St. and Minto Saketini. Although nonalcoholic options are limited, teetotalers can sip tea from bejeweled mugs. While we didn’t get past the appetizer and sushi menus, the entrées include treasures like Korean-style ramyun (complete with egg), Galbi (Korean BBQ), and three different kinds of katsu (tempura-battered meat). It takes more than one trip to enjoy Kanji’s range of cuisine, and you’ll be happy for the excuse to visit again.
Kanji, 1739 Elm St., Over-the-Rhine, (513) 873-8350, kanjiotr.com