Now in its soft opening at 36-06 30th Avenue, in Astoria: the sushi restaurant Pink Nori. The restaurant started serving sushi last Tuesday and the official grand opening will be the first week of February. (The owners are still waiting on the liquor license, but expect it to come soon.) Pink Nori is the brainchild of Jesse Tang, a recent grad of Stony Brook University who won the $10,000 Long Island Youth Entrepreneur Challenge with his restaurant idea, which includes a make-it-yourself sushi menu. Winning the award not only meant receiving startup cash, but also entrepreneurial help, like a press assistant, along the way.
Tang and his family live in Fresh Meadows — they picked this space in Astoria because of the neighborhood’s rapid growth and the abundance of businesses along 30th Avenue. The spot was formerly a grocery store; the family took on a total renovation to turn it into a sleek sushi joint. Tang picked a main chef who cooked at both Morimoto and Nobu, recognized sushi restaurants in Manhattan. While the make-your-own-sushi option was inspired by Tang’s distaste for shrimp, and his desire for a menu that could be customized based on preference, he encouraged the chef to be creative with other menu items. Besides the make-your-own-sushi options, the menu features rolls and sashimi with unique flavors like guacamole, anchovies, taro chips, jalapeños and potato chips. There’s also a selection of traditional rolls as well as hot meals from the kitchen.
Click through for interior shots of the space…
Pink Nori features seating and a bar in front, with a sleek sushi bar toward the back of the restaurant.
Taste-testing sushi with cream cheese, taro chips, jalapeños and potato chips.