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Buddha Bowl Now Open in Clintonville

Susan Post Susan Post Buddha Bowl Now Open in ClintonvilleBuddha Bowl is now open at 2973 N. High St. in Clintonville - Photo by Susan Post
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A new fast-casual dining option has joined the restaurant scene in Clintonville.

Buddha Bowl is now open at 2973 N. High St. offering build-you-own bowls with Thai flavors.

The concept is a new venture from Rhome Ruanphae, the owner of Basil. Ruanphae opened another location for Basil at the address earlier this year, but closed it down about three months ago to make the transition to Buddha Bowl.

Ruanphae wanted to focus on building something more scalable, and even franchisable, and create a model that would better fit the current industry climate.

Like nearly every restaurant, Basil has experienced its own labor shortages, and the Buddha Bowl concept can run efficiently with a smaller staff.

Buddha Bowl will offer a fast-casual service style with a build-your-own line like Chipotle or BiBiBop.

Guests will order any appetizers – wontons, cucumber salad, fresh spring rolls, etc. – at the start of the line then get to work on building their bowls. Appetizers should be ready to greet them by the time they’re done.

Bowl bases include white or brown rice, or romaine. There will be six proteins to choose from, including coconut curry chicken and spicy ground chicken with basil and garlic, as well as more straightforward options like cubed chicken and tofu.

A dozen veggie options include toppers like broccoli, cauliflower, carrots and straw mushrooms and some seasonal offerings like squash, zucchini and Brussels sprouts. Next comes sauce – coconut curry, basil garlic, teriyaki sesame or ginger sesame – and the final step that really imparts some Thai flair – and spiciness – a sprinkling of Thai chilis or garlic chili.

Ruanphae says the new style will really allow the kitchen to focus on the ingredients and play with seasonality in a way the Basil menu didn’t.

For Basil fans, many of the appetizers will be familiar, but also an easy welcome for those that might not have had Thai food before. And it will all be at a more affordable price point. Bowls will start at $7.95.

Ruanphae found the Clintonville location to be the ideal spot to try out what he hopes will be one of many Buddha Bowl restaurants. The size was right – not too big nor too small – and the area sees plenty of foot traffic, plus it has great neighbors in other local restaurants like Lavash, Condado, Lineage Brewing and Hank’s Texas BBQ.

Over the last several months, Ruanphae has made some other changes in the Basil lineup. The Upper Arlington restaurant, 3706 Riverview Dr., is currently closed. The strip mall is slated for potential redevelopment and Ruanphae is negotiating the restaurant’s future. However, wherever he does land in Upper Arlington, Ruanphae would like to make it the second Buddha Bowl location.

Buddha Bowl is currently open for lunch Monday through Saturday from 10:30 a.m. – 2:30 p.m. Dinner hours will hopefully be added over the next few weeks.

For more information, visit buddhabowl.com.

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