A few months ago Azia's charismatic executive chef and owner Thom Pham decided to temporarily close the popular Anemoni Sushi Bar to give the space a new look and feel. The results are simply delicious.
Pham explains that he wanted to inject some much needed life and a come-as-you-are vibe to the space. The resulting A25 Sushi and Sake Bar does just that with a new urban-meets-East décor that feels very different from its sister establishment, the neighboring Azia. A gritty, industrial brick wall, Japanese graffiti, subway-poster art, and hanging lanterns make the space feel vibrant and energetic. Needless to say this does not feel like your cookie cutter sushi joint.
Sushi is still the main draw including "omakase," the Japanese word for trust, in which you allow the chef to arrange a mixture of sushi at his discretion. A25 has also expanded into hot plates for those not into fish. The dish of the night for me was an ultra tender lamb chop with sake, ginger and soy dipping sauce accompanied by amazingly addictive green tea and garlic toasted sweet potatoes. I also loved the breaded pork tenderloin, but the accompanying pickled veg was far too pungent for my taste.
Pham added a bar that includes what he believes to be the largest sake list in the city. Their new mixologist has created range of martinis, cocktails and several house-made vodka infusions, of which tangerine was easily my favorite. I only hope that the plastic beer cups will be upgraded to real glass by the official opening.
As luck would have it, the newly redesigned A25 (minus the trademark faux boat) properly kicks things off by offering Happy Hour from 4 p.m. to 2 a.m. today through Sunday.