Momoyama, the Japanese hibachi joint inside the hard-hit Lundy’s building at 1901 Emmons Avenue, only just began their cleanup efforts on Friday.
When we stopped by, workers were there getting wooden boards up to secure the location, after Sandy’s flood waters battered the door. Like other establishments in Lundy’s ground level, Momoyama received upwards of six feet of water.
And it shows.
The restaurant’s table-sized grills, where so many of us have gathered for high school friends’ birthdays, were flipped and rusting on the floor, and chairs were scattered about. Although the water drained, it still had the musty-meets-salt-water smell we’ve gotten used to around here.
On the upside? The birthday drum on the wall seems to have survived unscathed. When they get back on their feet, we’ll be sure to visit and pretend it’s our birthday.
I know many of you were in deep despair when Sheepshead Bay Road’s longtime sushi establishment, Chikurin, bid a sad farewell to the oversaturated sushi-laden thoroughfare and moved into the ground floor of 1702 Avenue Z.
Fret not, sushi aficionados, for filling in the vacancy — although not in the same space as Chikurin once was — will be Shinjuku Japanese Restaurant, named after a special ward of Tokyo, Japan, and which means “New Lodge.” Shinjuku will open up shop at 1664 Sheepshead Bay Road, the location previously occupied by Chert Poberi Café.
What can I say? My prediction: In five years from now, there will not be a single establishment left on Sheepshead Bay Road that will not serve sushi. It’s probably a matter of time before we start seeing California rolls being sold out of CVS, Night Light Café and Bally’s.
Tip courtesy of our friends at Arbuz (1706 Sheepshead Bay Road).
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The future site of Chikurin
There will soon be one less sushi restaurant dotting the two-block stretch of Sheepshead Bay Road, aka, “Sushi Row,” between Jerome Avenue and Shore Parkway.
Chikurin, currently located at 1661 Sheepshead Bay Road, is moving out, but before we shout “domo arigato” (to the ubiquitous sushi eateries — not to Chikurin itself), it turns out that, according to their liquor license application, they’re only relocating around the corner to 1702 Avenue Z.
Yes, that 1702 Avenue Z.
Chikurin, we believe, is the longest continuously operating sushi joint on Sheepshead Bay Road; though the storefront that is now Ichiko, 1650 Sheepshead Bay Road, and which was previously Sakura I (whose antiquated signage is still visible on Google Maps) and then Sakura II, has been serving sushi in that location longer, but they changed owners, names and menus.
What can I say? It’s all so confusing. In either event, we wish Chikurin an easy move, and much success in their new location.
I knew a zombie apocalypse would come eventually, but I really thought it would be people rising from the dead. Apparently, in Sheepshead Bay, it’s sushi restaurants.
Mikado Sushi at 1734 Sheepshead Bay Road very quietly closed its doors last week, and it seemed like overnight the sign came down, the interior was renovated, and a new sign went back up. And, suddenly, a new business stood in its place: Tenda Asian Food.
It’s the second time in six months that a sushi restaurant closed down and turned into another sushi restaurant, following the Sakura-Ichiko transformation in June. It just keeps fueling dashed hopes and broken dreams that a cell phone store or pharmacy may one day move into the area.
Anywho, it’s not completely fair to say that Mikado closed down and turned into Tenda. In reality, it’s a rebranding. An employee told us that it was the same owner, but they decided to rename the place and expand the menu. In addition to sushi and Japanese offerings, patrons can now enjoy a number of Thai and Malaysian dishes, including Pad Thai and Malaysian Satay.
It’s kind of like a zombie coming back shooting lasers from its eyes. Kind of.
Two Asian eateries were closed recently by the Department of Health and Mental Hygiene for unsanitary conditions, one of which received a staggering 105 violation points.
New Star Seafood Restaurant at 1217-1221 Avenue U was closed after a laundry list of violations was issued in at least 15 areas. Just a sampling of the complaints includes evidence of mice and roaches, food was not protected from potential contamination, hot food was not held at adequate temperatures, food preparation surfaces were not cleaned, and handwashing areas even lacked soap. Workers were even scolded in the DOH report for their personal cleanliness, with the inspector observing soiled garments and lack of hair restraints.
The restaurant was shut down on Friday, October 15, but a sign in the door (placed next to the DOH sign) said they were closed for renovation and would be reopened yesterday. As of today they are still closed.
Meanwhile, Yoshinoya Sushi at 1741 Sheepshead Bay Road (off of Shore Parkway) was closed yesterday for mice, rats and roaches, as well as improper storage of cold food items. They accumulated 45 points, largely for critical violations.
This was posted up yesterday on the newly-installed doors of Ichiko Sushi at 1650 Sheepshead Bay Road. It says, “Tomorrow – We are OPEN!!!”
I guess that makes today…
Hey, anyone want to grab lunch with me and give these guys a go?
Looks like we spoke too soon when we wrote two weeks ago that 1650 Sheepshead Bay Road was done with sushi. Way back then, Sakura II had closed down and, after some decay, the signage was removed. We were thinking, “Hey, that looks like a fantastic location for a cell phone shop!” But no, we’re getting Ichiko Sushi. I wonder if they’ll have half-price rolls.
Sakura II was one of Sheepshead Bay Road’s first sushi joints, if not the first. But as the flashier places moved in, competition got stiff. Sakura’s old-school appeal didn’t reel in the crowds, and so it went belly up a few months ago.
Since then its signage decayed, until the landlord finally tore it down and put some marble up. I guess it looks better, right?
But just to refer back to my headline – I don’t wish all the sushi joints to close down. More power to any local business that can thrive in Sheepshead Bay, even if there are six more of the same within a two block radius.
So, what will take Sakura’s place at 1650 Sheepshead Bay Road?
A reader of Sheepshead Bites sent in the following complaint. I’ve heard similar complaints, but never experienced it myself. Are sushi places rounding up the bill? Are they the only ones?
I can go out and spend a lot of money on dinner or a play but one thing makes me nuts. I don’t like being overcharged. One time in a Manhattan restaurant, the waiter added a dollar to one entree and added an extra entree on the check. A week later I read they got busted.
Again, I’m not cheap. But what the hell is rounding about in these Sheepshead Bay Road Sushi restaurants? I took Junior High math. They round up 1-2-3 and 4 cents to make your check even. They never round down. Do they pay tax on this income? Guess not? Is it cheating? Getting somethng for nothing? You bet.
If you do the math, it probably comes out to a $1000 worth of pennies per year.
You want ROUNDING? Round down also.
Give the pennies to charity not to their selfish pockets.
Photo by Arthur Borko
2901 OCEAN AVENUE: Hayashi Sushi opens near Avenue Y.
ELSEWHERE: A rainbow forms, a fairy is brought back to life, an angel gets its wings, a Hershey bar causes a child to smile, a butterfly emerges from its cocoon, the Loch Ness monster is sighted, a young couple fall in love, a novelist completes a soon-to-be-bestseller, Atlantis bursts from the sea, a group of young people figure out the key to world peace, hope reigns supreme…
THE END IS NEAR!