SUFFERN, N.Y. – To the folks at Sushi Bada, it’s all about the fresh fish. But to others in Suffern, the Asian fusion eatery is a breath of fresh air.
Opened in September in the new Lafayette Building in the heart of the village’s business district, Sushi Bada joins a roster of great restaurants ranging from Tex-Mex to Italian to Chinese.
Not only has Sushi Bada brought with a faithful foodie fan base from its previous seven-year location in Airmont, it is quickly building a following of locals, says co-owner David Kim -- one of them just happens to be Mayor Edward Markunas.
Calling it a “great asset” and a “destination for people from other areas,” Markunas said Tuesday that Sushi Bada’s interior is especially striking.
“Its definitely got an urban vibe,” said the mayor, recalling having dinner there with his wife, who looked around and remarked: “Wow, I feel like I’m in Manhattan!”
When Kim, and his brother, Sean Ban, who is chef/owner, decided to lease the 2,000-square-foot space – about twice the size of their old restaurant on Route 59 -- it was literally bare bones.
“We had to start from scratch. We hired a designer, met with so many people who chimed in with ideas. We wanted it to be modern, but still fit with our style,” Kim explained.
Finally, they came up with something that reflected their motto of “Where authentic meets innovation.”
Its Izakaya-style low-lit interior with its deep reds and blacks has been described as chic yet cozy. (Izakaya is a traditional style Japanese gastropub.)
Ban has been honing his craft for 20 years. He has been hailed for, not only the quality of his food, but his creativity and friendliness as well.
On the menu are the traditional sushi, sashimi, rice bowls and noodle soups. But they kick it up several notches with small plates of edmame, gyoza, gyoza and seaweed salad.
It’s with the uramaki and hosomaki rolls that Sushi Bada gets especially playful.
In a nod to its new home, it named one, Play Suffern (salmon tempura, spicy salmon and asparagus), and in an homage to its old spot, Route 59 (shrimp tempura, avocado and eel.)
Moving to a larger place has allowed Sushi Bada to have a full bar. It serves sake (rice wine), Japanese beers such as Sapporo and Echigo, and hard liquor.
“Whiskey goes well with Japanese food,” Kim said.
It also has an eight-seat sushi counter, plenty of tables, but no hibatchi grill, Kim said.
Markunas said he sees other signs of a fresh breeze blowing through the village.
Forgia Brick Oven Pizzeria has opened on Suffern Place, and an old favorite bar and grill, Curley’s Corner, which was closed for a while, has reopened on Orange Avenue. Not to mention Plan B, which bills itself as a “5 Star Dive Bar” known for its pub grub and 17 beers on tap.
“We’re really rolling along,” the mayor said.
Aurelius Licata, president of the Chamber of Commerce and insurance agency owner, said the building at 74 Lafayette Ave. where Sushi Bada is located has, itself, “been a tremendous shot in the arm” for the village.
Offices for an architectural and an engineering firm are upstairs while the bottom floors are fully occupied. Other tenants include PostNet, which provides printing, copying and shipping services, and Zumba in Rockland, a dance-fitness studio.
Sushi Bada is, Licata said Tuesday, “a great addition to an already terrific lineup of restaurants in downtown Suffern.”