When Sushi Rock opened its first Cleveland location in 2000, it was an integral part of what then was the city's most thriving nightlife district, a strip akin to Park Street here in Columbus.

When Sushi Rock opened its first Cleveland location in 2000, it was an integral part of what then was the city's most thriving nightlife district, a strip akin to Park Street here in Columbus.

If you were heading downtown and looking to mingle, your likely destination was West Sixth Street. Before you started tipping 'em back, you'd often start with some sake and tekka maki within Sushi Rock's lush, beautiful confines.

The restaurant's third location fills this purpose, too, and its location on the Cap in the Short North makes perfect sense.

"I've been waiting for this space to open up for a while," said George Psaras, the friendly owner who'll probably introduce himself sometime during your visit.

The Cap's southeast corner has already seen two restaurants come and go - Paul Liu's Chinese Restaurant and Bluefish, Seafood on the Cap.

Psaras' place continues a model that made for success up north. For those who don't regularly flee to the Cleve, the Columbus branch is stunning. Soft, round chandeliers set the mood, while the chain's trademark red hues shine forth from clean, stark lines.

It's another in a growing number of local eateries paying attention to every detail of design.

The main dining room is large and welcoming, with black-and-white place settings and delicate lighting above the center of each table. There's also a bar with a sophisticated down-tempo vibe and a special post where sushi-lovers can get up close and personal with their fish.

A perfect bar snack, six-piece rolls start at $4.50, while the restaurant's trademark handrolls run up to $18. Heftier fare can be found, too, like a smattering of prime steaks in the $30 range.

If you're on a liquid diet, Sushi Rock comes through with a weekday happy hour, a good wine selection and plenty of sake. A small cruet of the house offering, served warm, costs $6. You'll pay a bit more for Living Jewel, Bride of the Fox and others.