Sarah, Jonathan and I recently visited Accent in University Circle, which was recently opened by Scott Kim of Sasa Matsu. We all very much enjoyed it.

The décor of the restaurant is unique and intriguing. The dining room is large and open with a red-lit pattern spelling out “ACCENT” all over the walls. This looks a bit gaudy in the website photograph but has a much cooler feel once one is inside the restaurant.

Sweet Heat, a sip or two taken before the shot.

I started with a Sweet Heat consisting of Jack Daniels Honey, orange, cinnamon and other spices. It was extremely good with a complex but not too sweet flavor. This might be my favorite whiskey cocktail in Cleveland (thanks to Eat Drink Cleveland for reminding me of the name). Sarah ordered a soda and Jonathan was happy to find they had Ramune.

For appetizers we ordered the house pickles ($5) and edamame hummus ($6). The pickles had quite a variety of flavors–sweet, sour, salty and meaty–and were quite enjoyable. We all enjoyed the edamame hummus as well, which had a greater depth of flavor than traditional hummus.

We also ordered the sashimi soft taco trio ($12): tuna, hamachi, and salmon in mung bean pancakes. These weren’t bad but could have used some additional sauce to spice them up.

Robata grilled Meatballs and Shrimp

One of Accent’s selling points is their robata, a smokeless round grill that reaches 1000 degrees, so we ordered a number of items utilizing it. On our waiter’s recommendation, Jonathan ordered the meatballs ($5) and shrimp ($6). The meatballs were unbelievably good, thoroughly spiced and bursting with juicy flavor. Jonathan shared bites with us parents, and we’ll definitely be ordering some for ourselves next time. The shrimp were also excellent, nicely neared and moist.

Sarah had the Udon Noodles with Black Bean Sauce, Robata Pork Belly, Robata Shrimp and Vegetables ($18). This was a great dish, filled with all kinds of savory flavors. Sarah took a risk on this as she is not usually a fan of pork belly, but we both agreed this was the best version of it we’d ever tried. It was crisp and juicy without being overly fatty, and the sauces worked perfectly with it. I also ordered the Robata Pork Belly ($6) as part of my entrée on the recommendation of our waiter.

We finished our dinner with the s’mores ($6), the most unique and tasty version we’ve ever tried. The outside was a combination of subtle blackening from the robata with dark chocolate and graham cracker crumbs. Inside was a perfectly cooked (but not gooey) marshmallow. The caramel sauce was a great finishing touch.

Our service was excellent and we thoroughly enjoyed our dinner. We could have used a little more sauce and garnish on a couple dishes, such as the shrimp and sashimi, but other than that our meal was flawless.

We look forward to a return visit.

Accent on Urbanspoon

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