Asian tapas restaurant debuts in RossfordWritten by Jay Hathaway | | firstname.lastname@example.org
A new restaurant in Rossford is offering unique ways for diners to sample and share a diverse selection of Far East dishes, owners say.
Flame Asian Tapas Bar & Grill, 27250 Crossroads Pkwy., opened its doors March 11. The menu features a variety of Chinese, Korean and Japanese-fusion dishes. The eatery also has a tapas menu, which allows guests to pick and choose smaller portions of the full dinner entrée selections, as well as other creatively diminutive designs.
Tapas, originating in Spain, is a style of dining in which a variety of small or sample-sized food plates are passed around and shared amongst a group.
Flame co-owner Li Yu explained that the time is right for Toledo to hop on the tapas train.
“It is actually a huge growing trend, if you look at any of the major cities,” Yu said. “We thought the timing was great right now for Toledo, just because people are actually demanding more options in a sense. They can come in and order different options, but they don’t have to pay for a bunch of different entrees. It’s a great concept, all the way.”
Flame is not the first culinary venture for Yu. He is also the owner of Spicy Tuna Sushi, located at 7130 Airport Hwy., Holland. He has been in the restaurant business for about 25 years. He worked at his family’s restaurant, Fu Yi Chinese, a longtime local favorite, which was located where Spicy Tuna is now.
“After [Fu Yi] closed, I got out of the restaurant business for a while,” Yu said. “I got into outside sales for a home improvement company. Then my wife and I thought, ‘Hey, let’s go back and do what we do best.’”
Yu said he thought it would be a wise decision to bring in a couple of partners to help him run Flame, so he called on two longtime friends for support.
Partner Young Ko has known Yu for around 25 years. He explained that Flame’s location, situated right next to Crossroads Centre on U.S. 20, was a big part of the appeal.
“The biggest attraction is the amount of development on Route 20 here. It’s growing,” Ko said.
Partner Don Yi has known Yu for more than a decade. He recently completed his term with the military after serving for eight years, and he decided he wanted to get involved with the restaurant business.
“I wanted to be along for the ride,” Yi said.
An acquaintance from Spicy Tuna pointed Yu and his partners to Flame’s location. In December 2011, the Crossroads area became known as an entertainment district. With that title, the state issued more liquor licenses for the area.
“Once that was official, [Crossroads] perked a lot of interest from outside investors,” Yu said. “We thought it was a good opportunity.”
The menu, aside from tapas, features Chinese classics like almond and kung pao chicken, pork, beef or shrimp. Fans of spicy Korean cuisine will notice the bibimbap, which is white rice topped with beef, veggies, fried egg and Korean hot sauce.
The tapas menu features sushi, salads, spring rolls, tempura and smaller portions of most of the entrée items. Different chicken wing sauces are also offered, featuring names like Lava King, Yu-Shan Say What, Szechuan Hot Mama, Bankok You So Hot and Teriyaki Me Love.
The drink menu includes martinis like the Dirty Geisha and Forbidden Green Tea and a diverse wine, sake and beer selection.
Diners familiar with sushi houses will recognize the menu and ordering format, which is designed much like a sushi menu.
“We sort of decided to copy a bit from Spicy Tuna,” Yu said. “People tend to come in and order two or three different [items] like dim sum or sushi, where you mark the quantity you want.”
Flame is open 11:30 a.m. to 10 p.m. Sunday-Thursday and 11:30 a.m. to 11 p.m. Friday and Saturday lunch hours are 11:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m., followed by happy hour from 2:30-4:30 p.m., during which everything on the menu (both food and drinks) is $1 off. For more information, call (419) 972-2262, or visit the website www.FlameAsianTapas.com.