By Baxley Aldworth
Some people, notably Frank Sinatra, like to say that if you can make it in New York, you can make it anywhere. This holds especially true in the cutthroat Manhattan restaurant business. Over the last three decades, sushi restaurants have exploded in popularity and have been popping up all over the city. Just like in the natural world where survival of the fittest reigns, many of the restaurants have gone extinct due to the extreme competition. Through this weeding- out process, Monster Sushi, entering its 14th year of business, has emerged among those at top of the sushi food chain with one restaurant in Midtown, another in Chelsea, and plans to expand even more in the near future.
How have they done it? “Big portions and very fresh fish,” says Carl, one of Monster Sushi’s co-founders, along with Le. Carl was a photographer before opening Monster Sushi and still owns a studio. While Carl brings his business savviness, Le brings the culinary expertise. Before meeting Carl, Le was a chef at the highly regarded Japonica restaurant, whose sushi is also held in very high esteem. No surprise then that the recipes at Monster Sushi are all his.
Of all of Le’s dishes, the Bento Box Lunch Special has become the customer favorite. It includes salad, a spring roll or shumai, California, tuna, or salmon roll, rice, plus a main course of teriyaki, tempura, or shogayaki. Carl wasn’t kidding about Monster Sushi’s generous servings, and fortunately, the food is not the kind that will balloon waistlines. The sushi and sashimi selections are second to none, with dozens of varieties to choose from. Monster Sushi also makes for a fine place to have dinner with its exquisite teriyaki and themed tempura entrees.
To help customers wash down these large meals, Monster Sushi also has a bar complete with looming large Godzilla figurines and 2-for-1 drink specials on Thursday, Friday, and Saturday nights. Enjoy creative drinks like a Sake Sunrise or a Woo Woo, which, along with being fun to say, contains a dynamite blend of vodka, peach schnapps, and cranberry juice. Just keep in mind the godzillas aren’t real!
Monster Sushi has now gone high-tech. Just visit www.monstersushi.com to browse their menu and place a delivery order online. Now delicious sushi is just a mouse click away!