A new restaurant with Japanese and Korean flair has opened inside The Restaurant Collection at Roosevelt Field Mall in Garden City.
Nomiya, which translates to “saloon,” offers sushi, together with Japanese and Korean cuisine in a Manhattan-style lounge area and a full dining room.
Owners Ajay Chawla, Lawrence Wai and Moul Kim, who previously opened a pair of Keki Modern Cakes in Manhatten, decided to branch out and establish an izakaya in Nassau County.
“All of us have travelled to Asia. We love certain kinds of love. We love specific genres of food and we wanted to bring something to our area that was very city-esque, or very trendy, while also having delicious food and alcohol,” Chawla said. “We were looking for something not necessarily traditionally Japanese, but that would bring the some strings of the Japanese culture that we really enjoyed to Long Island and specifically Nassau County.”
The restaurant’s chef, James Choi, combined his Korean background and sushi restaurant training to create Nomiya’s menu. Perhaps the trendiest item that comes out of his kitchen is found on the small plates menu: the avocado bomb, a half avocado stuffed with spicy tuna, placed atop tempura flakes and served with house-made sweet potato chips.
“It’s served like a Japanese guacamole,” Chawla said. “It’s a variation on something that’s served in Asia, but it’s definitely got our twist on it for sure.”
Plenty of sushi options
Chawla said ownership tries to keep the restaurant’s ingredients local when they can, including their fluke and greens. They also appeal to local pride on their sushi roll menu. The Suffolk roll boasts kani, cucumber, jalapeño, fresh yellow tail and shichimi sauce, while kani, spicy tuna, avocado, cream cheese and masago fill the deep fried Nassau roll, topped with eel sauce and spicy mayo.
For those a bit squeamish around sushi, the eatery offers such scrumptious entrees as the Korean short ribs and miso black cod. There’s also plenty of small plates, perfect to enjoy in the lounge area — including gyoza, fried wings and pan-fried shishito peppers.
The restaurant’s signature offering, the Nomiya roll, has a smokey appeal. The spicy tuna, asparagus and crunch roll topped with lobster salad is prepared with a sesame oil infused with teriyaki sauce and siracha among other ingredients. The chef then wraps the roll in aluminum foil and lights it on fire before it is unveiled at the table.
“That allows that sesame oil mixture to smoke into the roll,” Chawla said. “When you open up the roll, there’s a billow of smoke that we call ‘dragon’s breath.'”