Omakaseed Brings Plant-Based Sushi to the Sanctuary Hotel Near Times Square



Exquisite traditional sushi requires vigilant ingredient shopping and meticulous technique. Removing the seafood factor, as in plant-based sushi, is a game changer. Creativity with often commonplace ingredients like carrots, lentils and coconut is required, and there are no rules. A fine example is this new omakase counter in the Sanctuary Hotel near Times Square. The setting is a library, its shelves lined with leather-bound, gilt-embossed volumes and knickknacks; the 10 seats at the polished wood counter are well upholstered with backs. It’s the work of SimpleVenue, the group that is responsible for the modestly priced, high-speed Sushi by Bou. Previously there was an Omakaseed in Plant Bar in NoMad. It closed, replaced by Trust Bae. The Omakaseed has now relocated to the hotel, where it offers an 11 course plant-based tasting for $60 and 15 courses for $100. Ryan Chon and Camdyn Healey are the chefs in charge. The items likely to be served on beautiful little plates, blocks of glass and the like will depend on seaweed “caviar,” charred king oyster mushrooms, tofu with chile crisp, smoked carrot tartare, udon noodles with miso, and shredded hearts of palm. On the drinks list are creative cocktails and more sake than wine. (Opens Wednesday).

Sanctuary Hotel, 132 West 47th Street, 347-997-1615 (text only),



Tomer Blechman, the Israeli native who owns the Brooklyn restaurants Miss Ada in Fort Greene and Nili in Carroll Gardens, has added this new restaurant. Like his others, it features the food he knows best, from the Mediterranean region and especially the Levant. What distinguishes this place is the Josper oven in the kitchen, allowing for charcoal and wood-fire roasting and grilling over high heat. Mr. Blechman gives whole branzino and butterflied whole porgy this treatment. There is a fair emphasis on seafood with starters like fluke and hiramasa, some spiked with chiles. Israeli breads like kubaneh and pita are made in-house, and the baked alaska is finished in the special oven. The décor is simple, in neutral tones, with lots of daylight from the windows and skylights.

7 Greene Avenue (Fulton Street), Fort Greene, Brooklyn,


Steve Ells, the founder of the Chipotle Mexican Grill chain, has now gone into the plant-based category with his new fast food concept. The menu offers vegetarian burgers, faux chicken in sandwiches and salads, and an array of vegetable plates. Customers order food online or by app. They are notified when the food is ready and they then fetch it from a cubby, Automat style, that is unlocked using a mobile device. This model was used by the San Francisco-based restaurant Eatsa,which was not successful in New York, and drives the expanding chain of Brooklyn Dumpling Shop franchises introduced by Stratis Morfogen. There are no tables, just a couple of stand-up counters, because the food is meant primarily to take away. This first outlet is designed to be a template for impending expansion and with that in mind, the food is prepared in a central kitchen and delivered to the restaurants.

315 Park Avenue South (24th Street),


Mikado Sushi

With restaurants established in Chelsea, Brooklyn Heights and Kew Gardens, Queens, this sushi specialist has opened a location in the financial district.

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