The rainbow salad at Anju in Cedarhurst.

The rainbow salad at Anju in Cedarhurst. Credit: Newsday/Erica Marcus

Boris Safaniev and his family have opened three elegant, upscale restaurants in Cedarhurst — and all are kosher.

The latest undertaking, Anju, serves contemporary Asian fusion and opened in December with Tomo Kobayashi, one of Long Island’s most accomplished Asian fusion chefs, running the kitchen.

Kobayashi, the founding chef of Toku in Manhasset, has designed a menu that draws on Japanese, Korean and Chinese cuisines, infusing each with a little American cheek: seared Wagyu beef tataki with truffled tofu, pastrami egg rolls, Korean kalbi short ribs with charred shishito peppers, tenderloin of beef with charred broccolini, matzo-ball ramen with chicken char siu.

The sushi bar at Anju in Cedarhurst.

The sushi bar at Anju in Cedarhurst. Credit: Newsday/Erica Marcus

Kobayashi was charged not only with livening up traditional Asian dishes, but with modifying them to conform to kosher dietary restrictions. Swapping out pork for chicken, as in the ramen, was relatively simple. The prohibition against eating meat with dairy was even easier: Dairy shows up rarely, if at all, in East Asian cooking. Anju has a strong sushi menu, ranging from traditional sushi and sashimi to more fanciful rolls such as Double Hamachi (hamachi-wrapped hamachi toro tartare with scallions, shiso, cucumber, jalapeño relish and crunchy onion) and the Spicy Anju (salmon-wrapped spicy salmon with asparagus, spicy mayo and Asian chimichurri). And as long as Kobayashi stayed away from shellfish and eel, everything was copacetic.

The biggest culinary challenge, Safaniev said, was that many of the building blocks of the restaurant’s dishes — imported condiments, noodles, wonton skins — were either not available in kosher versions or not available in good-enough kosher versions. “If we couldn’t source the right product,” he said, “we had to make them. We now make all our own noodles, dumpling and wonton skins.”

Kosher ingredients tend to be about 30% more expensive than their conventional counterparts, Safaniev said, and Anju’s prices reflect this: Starters range from $10 to $28; sushi rolls from $16 to $36; noodles from $36 to $42; mains from $38 to $72.

Pad Thai at Anju in Cedarhurst.

Pad Thai at Anju in Cedarhurst. Credit: Newsday/Erica Marcus

Safaniev was not kosher in his younger days and frequented such exuberant Asian eateries as New York’s Buddakan and Philippe Chow. “Now, as an observant Jew,” he said, “I want to deliver that experience — high end, quality drinks, really good food and a great environment — that the kosher diner doesn’t have a lot of.” This is the case with the family's other two Cederhurst spots: the modern-Mediterranean Cork & Slice and the over-the-top steakhouse, Doma Land + Sea.

Anju, 128 Cedarhurst Ave., Cedarhurst, 516-837-9684, Open Sunday to Thursday 5 to 10 p.m.

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