Chili Peppers Fresh Mexican Grill on Urbanspoon
I am a simple man. I farm my land. I fish my waters. I eat large burritos. (actually, the farming and fishing things aren't true, but I do eat large burritos.) And what great burritos they have at Chili Peppers. This is a consistently great little spot on E. 185th street. I have not had a bad item on their menu. The taco salads are huge and the chips are always fresh. In fact, they have some of the tastiest salsas I have had anywhere. So much of their food is made fresh and in house. It definitely shows, since they are packed at lunch time. Serious foodies need to check it out. It's one of the best Mexican restaurants in the Cleveland area. Cheap, fast and friendly.
 
 
Velvet Tango Room on Urbanspoon
Located just outside the hustle and bustle of the West Side Market and bar scene near Ohio City is the Velvet Tango Room. It's not new and it's not a secret...it just does it own thing. And what a great thing they do. Hand crafted cocktails that are 100% speakeasy. People often complain that they are expensive ($16 each), they have to wait for drinks (individually hand crafted), there's a dress code (god forbid you have to care about your appearance!) and rules (they'll politely tell you to shut up if you get too rowdy). But in the age of People of WalMart and Applebee's 2 dinners for $10 crap-tactulars, I think we need a place that actually has some rules and regulations.

That said, they make a mean drink. Old favorites like the Moscow mule, the dark and stormy, the old-fashioned and negroni's all make an appearance. There's a food menu there too, but I've never tried anything off of it. If you are in the area, I suggest trying it...it'll definitely surprise you.
 
 
Otani on Urbanspoon
A favorite of mine. I almost always enjoy my meals here. In the newest Hudson store, the addition of the pub side means better drinks and more entertainment. So now, alongside the hibachi tricks and sushi bar conversations, there are also karaoke on Wednesdays and live bands on Saturdays. (FREE!)

The energy feels good...cozy with enough modern feel to make it feel relevant. The basil chicken is my favorite. The pad thai is Amy's. The sushi is best when you order it omakase style (chef's choice) from the chef's. Lori, the bartender, made some of the best perfect negroni's I've had in quite some time.
Basil Chicken
Yakiniku Steak
Perfect Negroni's




Otani Japanese on Urbanspoon
Otani's in Mayfield is the original sushi bar in Cleveland. Opened in 1978, they have been making sushi in the same location for 34 years. Wow.

They definitely do sushi right. It's like a 1, 2 punch of classic sushi items and modern sushi. They also have a huge vegetarian selection that makes Amy happy.

We had a sushi platter of 4.5 rolls, fire king rolls, maki moriawase (sushi roll sampler) and ankimo (monkfish liver) that was great. Amy got a zaru soba (buckwheat noodles) and age-dashi tofu (fried tofu) that she really liked.
sushi platter
ankimo sashimi (monkfish liver)
zaru soba (buckwheat noodles) and age-dashi (fried tofu)
crab salad hand roll with tuna