Musu, the idiosyncratic sushi bar that delighted diners in Sea Cliff and surrounding environs from 2012 to 2015, has reopened — for three days a week.
Melisa and Alan Geller closed the restaurant when their sushi chef, Roy Kurniawan, left to visit Japan for the first time and, subsequently, pursue other projects.
The Gellers couldn’t imagine Musu without Kurniawan, who had also been the driving force at the late, lamented Sea Cliff Sushi Co. When they learned that he was back, they figured out a schedule that would suit both the chef and the town and, a few weeks ago, they began opening their doors at 5 p.m. every Friday, Saturday and Sunday. (For the Christmas and New Year’s holiday weekends, Musu will be open Thursday to Saturday, and closed on Sundays Dec. 25 and Jan. 1.)
Melisa Geller said that the menu had both narrowed and deepened. There’s no more cooked food (except for salmon that Kurniawan sears with a torch on a block of salt). Some of the old favorites are back, such as the Phish sandwich (soy sheets filled with spicy tuna, avocado, crunch, red tobiko and bonito flakes).
But the chef, who was never tethered to Japanese flavors, is branching out even more with such dishes as miso-cured hamachi (yellowtail) with sultanas, salmon roe, matchstick apples and yuzu foam; and kampachi (Almaco jack) with caramelized grapes, charred avocado, baby cilantro and garlic yuzu.
At 5 p.m., you usually can walk in and find a seat, but if you’re planning on a later meal, call the restaurant to get your name on a list so you don’t have to wait on line in the cold.
Fun fact: The restaurant’s full name is Wansuapona Musu, an affectionate Japanese-accented take on the name of the restaurant that used to occupy this spot: Once Upon a Moose.
Musu is at 304 Sea Cliff Ave., Sea Cliff, 516-671-2493