What's new, ethnic, (or not) and reasonable in Columbus, especially Westside
All you Columbus chowhounds have come through for me before...I just re-read the advice I got in 2005! I'll be traveling to Columbus multiple times again this year...fill me in on what's new in the everyday affordable scene...not the spendy Alana's (although it was good) etc. My favorite Columbus place is the Starliner Diner. Great food, made from scratch on site, comfy to go solo. Asian, Indian and/or Italian finds especially welcome. Thanks fellow chowhounds. If you ever get to Seattle, the best Sichuan food in PNW and maybe US is Sichuanese Cuisine near the Sears in Redmond WA...right near Microsoft.
I really like Amul India on Sawmill Road north of 270 in a strip mall. I also like Cook Shack BBQ on Fishinger Road in a strip mall that also contains Staples, near the Saturn dealership east of 270. Yashi's on Franzts Road in the same strip mall as Bonefish Grill has very dependable sushi and some interesting small plates.
new, ethnic, and on the northwest side - Blue Ginger http://www.bluginger.biz/
I'll also throw out Kaya (4710 Reed Rd) since it hasn't been mentioned on this thread.
A cool place on the west side to go on a nice day is JP's http://www.jpsbbq.com/home.asp which is at Bolton Field, a small airport. You can eat reasonably priced ribs and watch small planes take off and land.
Two other affordable Asian restaurants -- Happy Dragon http://www.happydragonlivingston.com/ at the north end of German Village (best Hot and Sour soup around) and Nong's http://www.nongshunanexpress.com/ in Grandview for great carry out Thai.
I'm so happy to hear that you found the gem Starliner Diner! I moved from Columbus and still think about their great food. Some other reasonable choices are as follows: Casa Fiesta - Mexican (3640 Main St, Hilliard), City BBQ (various Columbus locations), The Hickory House - Steaks/Ribs (Powell/Gahana/Reynoldsburg, DH Wu - Chinese (Pickerington). I have frequented all of these places heavily and give them a hearty Chowhound endorsement. Enjoy!!
I spend a good chunk of my time searching for good Asian dining when I'm back at home (i.e. Columbus) so I can suggest a few places:
Joey Chang's -- Mill Run in Hilliard: Tasty Chinese dishes as well as Thai options.
Panda Inn -- Bethel Rd: authentic Chinese food, focused on the Taiwanese cuisine somewhat. Weekend dim sum buffet too.
Taste of Bali -- Bethel Rd: One of the two Indonesian restaurants in Ohio and a good place to check out if you're feeling adventurous and have a high tolerance for spicy foods.
Lee Garden -- Sawmill Rd: Traditional dim sum on weekends
Mi Li Cafe -- Columbus Square: Limited, yet delicious Vietnamese restaurant. Best place for banh mi.
Sakura -- Easton area: New Japanese steakhouse and one of the better ones in the city. Great interior design too, I should add.
Hope that helps!