12.06.2010

Sushi sources on all sides of town

If you’re in the mood for sushi, your options in this locale have recently expanded.

Downtown, the owner of the frozen yogurt hotspot Plum Dandy has struck a deal with Pacific Grill to serve the restaurant’s fresh sushi in pre-packaged containers for takeout or eating in.

Frozen yogurt and raw fish under one roof on Broadway, you ask?

Yes, Plum Dandy co-owner Philip Levitas has gotten more than one raised eyebrow in response to the new combination, which he rolled out less than two weeks ago.

But his take is that the sushi complements the Asian Bubble tea he sells and fits with the overall vibe of the business — which is a unique variation on the Korea-founded frozen yogurt chain Red Mango that’s gone viral in major U.S. cities in the last couple of years.

Plum Dandy, still in its infancy after opening at 419 Broadway this spring, can afford to mix things up in an attempt to build a stronger customer base through the cold season.

“Winter is the winter, so you’ve got to get creative,” Levitas said.

The sushi is located in a standalone mini fridge set apart from the yogurt and some sweet new additions to the shop, including Dutch chocolate hot cocoa and homemade marshmallows.

Pacific Grill manager Howie Yang can be found delivering rolls of crab, avocado and spicy tuna and even seaweed salads at all hours — Levitas just calls when the stock runs low.

“It keeps things close for downtown business, and it benefits both of us,” he said.

Sushi (eight pieces for $5.50 to $7.50) will be available Thursday through Sunday through the winter. Call 871-1525 or e-mail info@plumdandyyogurt.com.

Across town in Wilton, a well-known Chinese restaurateur has made a gambit for his first local Japanese eatery.

Benay Li, who sold China Wok in August after operating it on Broadway for 15 years, opened Osaka Sushi House this fall in the Route 50 plaza across from the mall.

The restaurant is located at the end of the plaza where a Kem Cleaners once was. Li spent eight months renovating the inside. Now, a polished, wooden sushi bar and several regular tables seat 46 under low-hanging globe lanterns.

Li, originally from Hong Kong, said he expects the intimate style and location of Osaka to draw a different set of customers than the downtowners who frequented China Wok for takeout.

His hope is that parking, soaring rents and competition won’t be challenges in Wilton, unlike on Broadway, he added.

Entrees on the lunch and dinner menu include noodles, teriyaki and tempura. Sushi rolls start at $3.50. Beer and sake is served. The address is 3084-6 Route 50. Call 581-1900.

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