Aji 53 is the newest restaurant to open on Main Street, pairing the styling and ambiance of Las Vegas with Japanese cuisine.
Manager Barry Huang said when deciding on the establishment’s décor he wanted it to be more visually appealing than the original Aji 53 in Bay Shore, which is designed with the styling of an upscale Manhattan restaurant.
“What’s better than Manhattan? You’ve got to go Vegas,” he said.
The restaurant features a flat-black warehouse ceiling lined with concave mirrors that transition into a concave mirror wall, separating the front casual dining area from the sleek, contemporary rear dining area. The restaurant also features a sushi bar, two flat screen TVs above a colored, florescent light illuminated bar, a Japanese mural that adorns two walls and many more details that provide a modern look.
Huang said the standout physical feature of the restaurant is an eco-bamboo wall, accented with hints of hot pink lights that bring out the wall’s texture, which separates the sushi bar from the kitchen.
While the décor is visually appealing, a restaurant survives on the food it serves, which Huang said is one-of-a-kind. Huang’s partner in the restaurant and Executive Chef, Ken Zheng, prepares the food.
Aji 53 offers a lengthy menu with lunch specials, sushi bar entrees, habachi delicacies, salads, a la carte sushi and sashimi and more.
An entire page of the menu is dedicated to the “Aji 53 Signature Rolls,” which feature items like the “3rd Ave” ($14), which consists of shrimp tempura, fresh lobster meat, tobiko and cream cheese that is wrapped with white seaweed eel sauce, and the “Aji King” ($15), a roll with king crab, deep fried avocado and shrimp, with spicy tuna, spicy yellowtail and the chef’s special sauce.
Huang said his personal favorite menu item is the Lobster Carpaccio, a cooked lobster thinly sliced with a steamed potato base, served with lemon-butter sauce and topped with osetra caviar.
Aji 53 is the latest Japanese restaurant on Main Street, which also is the home to , , as well as , which also serves sushi. On Route 111 is another Japanese restaurant,.
The amount of local Japanese eateries, Huang said, makes the corner of Village Commons Shopping Center the perfect location for Aji 53.
“I want to have actually a population of restaurants, I like to be around strip malls where there’s numerous cuisines or even the same type like hibachi or whatever,” he said. “Where we’re from the food that we cook on the table is totally different, unique.”
Huang added that he would like to open Aji 53 to the public with nightlife interests as a lounge with music provided by a deejay, open from 10 p.m. to 2 a.m., but is holding off on the idea currently until he gets a grasp of what his core clientele is interested in.
Aji 53 is open Monday through Thursday from noon to 10 p.m., and Friday and Saturday from noon to 11 p.m., with lunch hours all week from noon to 3 p.m. Sunday, Aji 53 is open from 3 p.m. to 9 p.m.