103 Avenue A, New York, NY | Directions 1000940.725781 -73.983735
Sun-Thu 5pm-1am; Fri-Sat 5pm-2am
Neighborhoods: Alphabet City, Downtown, East Village
FOOD IN THE HOOD: Ave A Japanese Restaurant – I decided to check out the 103 Ave A Japanese Restaurant and Gallery, an old reliable that I’d frequented often before I headed to more affordable rents in the Bronx . This Japanese Restaurant/Gallery which first opened almost thirty years ago was the original of what was to be a cornucopia of indistinguishable and forgettable sushi restaurants to follow in the Lower East Side or Loisada as it’s now known to the locals. 103 Ave A was the “IT” place during the 80’s and 90’s attracting such as Leo DiCaprio, Chris Noth and a bevy of Warhol’s hangers on during the Lower East Side’s renaissance: The retro neon sign was the same but the entrance was now more welcoming revealing a bar crowd which was discussing strangely enough the sanctions of the French government against its rebellious World Cup soccer team. The once unattractive carpeting and what seemed like sawdust flooring in an old saloon décor was now replaced by a more modern waxed wood environment, including a futuristic attractive bar setting and tile flooring from recycled tires, an unmistakable “ going green” homage since I’m told it costs more than the standard. The sushi bar in the rear still harkened of a Shintaro Katsu movie…original and familiar but the sound of David Ruffin and the Temptations that the house DJ was spinning still seemed oddly out of place as was Ruben Blades’ Pedro Navaja almost twenty years ago when I first visited 103 Ave A. The DJ characterized the music as eclectic but the range from Celia Cruz to Rod Stewart and Michael Buble was, if not interesting, at the very least not boring. No one seemed to mind that I stopped and perused the three dozen or so pieces of artwork that were displayed with unexpected panache- some pedestrian but more than a few pieces commanded a second look. I recalled the dining room being the avant garde showcase to many a struggling East Village artist in the early eighties . I joined in the soccer discussion and ordered what the owner was having: a pomegranate mojito that was mysteriously fruity and refreshing yet one could feel the strong kick of the rum. As part of a 6 buck special on Sundays, this was worth the price of admission; a “ Dynamite”- a tin foil wrapped appetizer of fragrant and sweet scallops with mushrooms dressed lightly in Japanese mayonnaise with a jalapeño infusion-tantalizing if not spectacular. The sashimi combination was prepared with Samurai-like precision and beyond expectations in terms of freshness and verve. The cost of this meal was under 25 bucks, not bad for this day and age.
Best asian restaurant in Alphabet City – I had a birthday party here, and it was soooo much fun. Great food! Great Vibe! Great Music!!! And excellent service. I would highly recommend this place!!!! Gooooooo I didnt have any metal staples in my food!!! it was absolutely superb!
STAPLE in the food!!! – STAPLE in the food!!
yes, that's what I said, a METAL STAPLE IN THE FOOD!!
do not eat here. unless you eat metal staples.
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