Aozora Modern Asian Cuisine
We Like How They Roll - Sushi Roll, That Is!
Sushi lovers in the Jericho area have reason to rejoice. Formerly Genji, Aozora is a superb sushi and Asian fusion restaurant with a sleek façade complimented by a gorgeous interior. Once you enter this gem located on bustling Jericho Turnpike, you will immediately notice a variety of dining options: a fully stocked bar, a handsome hibachi room, a stunning sushi bar, and a beautiful dining area perfect for the family or a romantic rendezvous.
With a friendly staff and an inviting atmosphere all around, you immediately get the sense that your experience here will be a great one. It is also worthwhile to note there is an entire upper level that is ideal for hosting a private party or event, whether business or pleasure.
We started our journey with their Lobster Crunch Bowl (below left) which was a wonderfully refreshing creation. Beautifully plated, this sushi bar appetizer was an artistically crafted combination of lobster salad, avocado, mango sauce and tobiko. The avocado was decoratively layered over a succulently creamy lobster salad in a sea of mango sauce.
The Melon Shrimp (above right) was a feast for the eyes. This enticing appetizer is cleverly served in a wine glass filled with melon balls and tender fried shrimp perched on the rim, all awash in a special glaze. This velvety sauce delicately dripped from each shrimp's tail, making it hard to resist diving right in. The crunchy batter belied the shrimp’s tender interior, a true sign of being fried to perfection. Both the shrimp and the melon were accented nicely by the unique glaze. From start to finish, this appetizer was a real table-pleaser.
Next up was the Sushi Tortilla (above left). Three kinds of fish topped a crispy tortilla, all covered in another of their wonderful special sauces and sprinkled with sesame seeds. This combination might sound a bit peculiar, but the flavors blended amazingly well. There was a strong sesame flavor with a subtle spice, neither of which overshadowed the other ingredients. The crunch of the tortilla provided a nice contrast to the delicate textures of the fish.
Most of us have had Poppers before, but probably not with this interesting spin! The New Style Poppers (above right) blended spicy tuna, salmon and yellowtail on top of crispy rice. When we say “crispy rice”, we really mean crispy. The rice bottom was like a little crunch cup and offered a tier of texture to this dish that worked well. An interesting concept with unexpected results and an ample amount of heat; be sure to spice up your meal with this appetizer.
With a name like Fire Line Wrasse Roll (above left), one can expect a certain amount of heat, and this beautiful dish didn’t disappoint. The sweet chili and spicy aioli sauce definitely gives this special roll a kick. This fried roll is filled with lobster salad and avocado and topped with chopped cilantro and caviar, giving it a crunchy outside and a soft, succulent inside. It starts sweet and finishes warm with the perfect touch of heat.
And now for the roll named after this exemplary establishment: the honorable Aozora Roll (above right & top). Fresh and tasty, this roll was also a pleasing sight. Perfectly seared salmon sat atop a combination of lobster salad, avocado, honey miso sauce and tobiko. As with our previous encounters with the lobster salad, this proved to be very flavorful. You can taste every ingredient as they cascade over your tongue.
Our last entrée was a Chef’s special – the King of the Sea (above). Two orange slices were each crowned with a pan fried scallop and a shrimp, served with a lobster tail in its shell. The orange slices provided a sweet palate cleansing, preparing us for the succulent seafood trio that awaited. The shrimp, scallops and lobster were all cooked to perfection and tender as can be. Full of flavor and expertly prepared, it is no wonder that this astonishing seafood entrée is considered a Chef’s special.
After all these tasty dishes, we were presented with two finely fried decadent desserts: Fried Ice Cream (above left) & Fried Cheesecake (above right). Both options are a sweet way to end your Asian excursion. The fried ice cream was done just right, with a light, crispy shell and a cold, creamy core that was spoon-soft but no where near being "soupy". The cheesecake was especially delicious and had an equally excellent exterior. Both desserts were a homerun, but the fried cheesecake was more like a grand-slam.
Every plate looked like a work of art that shouldn’t be disturbed, but was far too tempting to resist. Rest assured, once you get a small taste of any of these picture-perfect dishes, you will have no qualms about disrupting their artistic integrity; they are too delicious to admire for more than a moment! With their exquisite atmosphere and extensive menu, even sushi naysayers will find something to love at this apex of modern Asian cuisine.
Overall Rating: Superb
Cuisine: Asian, Sushi, Hibachi
Ambiance & Décor: Modern & Charming
Sushi: $9 - $24