Chirash made with the day's special fish at Ginza in...

Chirash made with the day's special fish at Ginza in Levittown, April 6, 2023.

Ginza, a top sushi destination until it shuttered its Massapequa location in 2020, has reopened in Levittown.

It’s a common practice now for ambitious sushi bars, but when Ginza opened in 2012, it was the only place on Long Island that flew seafood in directly from Tokyo’s storied Tsukiji fish market. For the next eight years, it consistently appeared on Newsday’s list of best sushi spots. According to Tiffany Lin, who owns Ginza with her husband, chef Patrick Yam, the decision to close was due to a combination of COVID and “partner issues.”

The original restaurant was one of Long Island’s grandest, a free-standing, mirrored box that rose out of a parking lot adjacent to Sunrise Mall. The new location, in a side-street strip mall, is more modest but no less lovely: The high-ceilinged room is all bleached wood, recessed lighting and neutral upholstery.

But Ginza’s focal point remains the sushi bar where chef Yam and his team strut their stuff. Yam still gets some fish flown in from Tokyo (from the new Toyosu market) and, on a recent evening, there was madai, baby yellowtail, fatty tuna, real king crab (not kani) and three varieties of uni (sea urchin). Two came in the traditional compartmentalized trays,  but he also had received a half-dozen live sea urchins, creatures that look for all the world like the love child of an avocado and a porcupine.

Yam laboriously cut a circle out of the top of each spiky orb and scooped out the contents, separating out the golden “tongues” of roe that we eat from the other bits. The cleaned uni was soaked briefly in saltwater and then in iced sake, then  set atop a mountain of crushed ice that was garnished with lemon slices and pickled umeboshi plums.

Fresh uni (sea urchin) at Ginza in Levittown.

Fresh uni (sea urchin) at Ginza in Levittown. Credit: Newsday/Erica Marcus

Omakase (chef’s selection) is quite reasonable: $68 for sushi, $78 for sashimi, $88 for a combo. But there are certainly more prosaic meals to be had at Ginza. The regular menu comprises a familiar lineup of starters hot (shumai and gyoza, tempura) and cold (tuna tataki, spicy-crunchy kani salad) along with some outliers like lobster bisque and truffled chu-toro sashimi.

Sushi is available a la carte or in full entrees ($27 to $30) and sushi rolls range from standard California and yellowtail-scallion to the “mango heaven” (salmon, avocado, mango, wasabi caviar and spicy mango sauce), lobster tempura (with avocado, cucumber and caviar), the “Ginza” (rock shrimp, avocado, asparagus tempura, king crab and lemon-chili vinaigrette) and “surf & turf” with lobster, mango, crunch, filet mignon and balsamic reduction.

Kitchen entrees include teriyaki, tempura and stir-fried udon or soba noodles. A range of lunch specials (from the sushi bar and the kitchen) top out at $18.

Ginza, Gardiners Plaza, 170A Gardiners Ave., Levittown, 516-882-9688, ginzany.com

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