You can say it was the best problem that made one of Highland Park’s most popular eateries migrate across Raritan Avenue to larger accommodations on the North side. Sushiana, a high-end kosher sushi boutique needed more room for the growing number of customers who crave Sushiana’s hand crafted sumptuous sushi.
Sushiana left its intimate five-table store front on Raritan Avenue to move to a roomy, light filled space at 17 North Fourth Avenue. A sushi bar has been added where you can watch two chefs expertly prepare the fresh slabs of red tuna, gorgeous orange salmon, fresh and smoked, yellow tail, ivory white with red highlights.
According to owner Michael Kornblum, his new establishment allows for more seating, and his larger kitchen allowed him to hire another chef and baker. His menu will soon include dishes from Singapore, Thailand and China. He wants patrons to know that all of his food is still kosher, non-dairy, but no longer without peanuts. The addition of Thai and Chinese selections means there will be some peanut ingredients in some of the dishes. But the peanut ingredients will be segregated, in order to accommodate those with peanut allergies.
His new baker will soon be providing luscious Chocolate Lava cake and apple tarts, as well as some equally hard to resist desserts. All will be dairy-free.
But what will remain the same in the business that has been thriving for two and a half years in Highland Park is the high quality of sushi produced by his two Japanese chefs.
“I opened my restaurant because I love sushi and there was no place nearby where you could obtain high quality kosher sushi,” Mr. Kornblum said. “I also missed the restaurant business. I like being able to provide a product people want, and I certainly like meeting people.”
Opening the friendly, family- oriented business was a return to Michael Kornblum’s roots. His first job out of college was as a junior manger at the Blue Note jazz Club in New York City. For the last two decades he worked on Wall Street, his last job as a compliance officer.
At least 12 tables beckon customers to order old favorites such as Pacific Pearl (tuna, with crunchy onions), Mystic New Jersey (tuna, salmon, avocado, oshinko and kani), and the Galactic (seared black pepper tuna, spicy kani, cabbage, cashews and crunchy onions) and more typical hand-made sushi , tuna and avocado, spicy yellowtail and much more. And for those with younger pallets and simpler tastes, French fries, homemade onion rings, vegetable tempura, fried tilapia wontons, and fish and chips, seared black pepper tuna treaki and other cooked specialties for those who don’t like to eat raw.
Besides the great food, something else has followed Michael Kornblum across the street: his attention to creating an inviting restaurant space. His motif for Sushiana is appropriately, a red wave and the ceiling provides this comforting, billowy shape. Instead of greeting Lionel Hampton, George Benson, and Ray Charles, as he did at the beginning of his restaurant career, Michael Kornblum will be greeting you.