Location: 120 East 39th Street, New York, NY 10016
Best Dish: Although the restaurant is known for its creative sushi, the lobster mac & cheese is the stand out star.
Overall: The best kitschy dinner and show you didn’t know you needed to experience.
On Thursday, we celebrated the two year anniversary of Sushi Roxx and the opening of its new show “Love Roxx.” The midtown east eatery, which is designed with animated Japanese wall décor, paper lanterns, and prominent hues of red, is the concept and dream of owner Jason Apfelbaum. Along with the help of his talented, theater-trained wait staff, Apfelbaum has created a space where he says they are “not in the restaurant business,” but rather in “the feeling business.” And currently, that feeling is all about love.
After visiting Sushi Roxx last year, we were well aware that this particular dinner theater specialized in serving sushi with a side of sass; but what we didn’t realize was this time around we would become champions for our love-sick servers. The show starts with a club version of the 90’s Haddaway hit “What is Love” and only intensifies from there. Throughout the evening, we were treated to several love-related medleys by pop icons like Madonna, Beyonce, Whitney Houston, and Rihanna. But it wasn’t until our very own waitress, Nysali, belted out a barefoot version of “Every Little Bit Hurts” that we went from being patrons to in-the-moment BFFs lending our emotional and vocal support. Another amazing talent you should be on the lookout for is, Katie Lee. Her voice is incredible!
Let talk about the food, shall we?
Asian Chicken Salad
Trust us when we tell you this is no typical house salad. Made with napa cabbage, almonds, and sesame, this crisp and light salad is a perfect dish to start your dinner.
Lobster Mac and Cheese
Although it has nothing to do with Japanese cuisine, the lobster mac and cheese left us screaming “Yes, please!” If balancing creaminess and a baked crust wasn’t enough of a challenge, they mastered cooking the lobster to perfection, which produced a sweet note to the savory and supremely delicious appetizer.
Vegetarians, vegans, and omnivores alike will equally find the miso glazed eggplants a surprising delight.
We tasted an assortment of cleverly named sushi rolls which included the Malibu (snow crab, avocado, wrapped in soy paper topped with salmon, crunch, sweet soy), Surf & Turf (shrimp tempura, snow crab, avocado topped with filet mignon, sweet soy, yuzu miso reduction), and Big Mac (spicy tuna, avocado, snow crab, bonito flakes, tobiko, sweet soy). We also enjoyed the Miami Vice (spicy tuna, salmon, fuji apple, sprouts, topped with yellowtail, and sriracha), which packed a kung fu kick, and Uma Thurman (spicy tuna, yellowtail, avocado, tobiko, wrapped in cucumber with ponzu) that was as fiery as a fight scene out of Kill Bill.
Caramel Apple Cheesecake
As long standing New York residents, we feel we are certified cheesecake aficionados, and we are pleased to tell you this cheesecake is pretty impressive. With a gram cracker crust and cinnamon whipped cream cheese, you might find yourself telling grandma to upgrade her apple pie recipe to the Sushi Roxx’s Caramel Apple Cheesecake recipe.
The vodka based Death Star may sound dangerous, but it was actually a light cocktail with a mild punch from the ginger, shisho, and lime. It also made for a welcome compliment to the cucumber wrapped Uma Thurman roll. But if light isn’t quite your flavor, try the Diamond Cutter made with Don Pancho 8 Year Old, Michters Rye, Foro Amaro,
Black Cherry, Angostura Bitters. It’s a much stronger beverage and gives your taste buds a nice kick.
If the goal of the new Love Roxx show is to keep you rockin’ while you stuff your face with rock shrimp tempura, the team has nailed it! If you’re looking for a great time, for say a bachelorette party or a post-breakup remedy, make your way over to Sushi Roxx.
BAR/LOUNGE: Tuesday thru Saturday: 5pm – Close
HAPPY HOUR: Tuesday thru Friday: 5pm – 7pm
DINNER RESERVATIONS: Wednesday thru Saturday: 6pm – Close
For more information, visit www.sushiroxxnyc.com.
Photos: XOJOHN and Andrew Werner