At Nisen Sushi, Food Is
By Luann, Osmond, Margaret
Ann & Richemail@example.com
food is art, then Nisen Sushi may as well be the MOMA.
Dont just take our word for it. Our recent meal featured
a towering sculpture of sashimi that was so impressive, it
prompted one passerby to remark, You cant eat
that, its art!
At this modern, sleek and contemporary sushi restaurant in
Commack, dishes are presented with such flair, attention to
detail and artistic value, its a shame the chef doesnt
sign his name on his masterpieces.
Approaching its 10th anniversary, which it is celebrating
with a party this Saturday, Nisen, featuring award-winning
design by Horst Design International in Cold Spring Harbor,
seems almost out of place in the shopping center at the intersection
of Jericho Turnpike and Larkfield Road with Trader Joes,
Dollar Tree and T.J. Maxx.
The unassuming storefront comes alive at night with dramatic,
inverted backlit acrylic cones and up-lighting from the pavement.
Inside, the restaurant boasts nearly all black and white materials
set off by ornate light fixtures and splashes of colorful
lighting. The result is a hip, glitzy interior, with a modern
dining area of tables and individual booths surrounded by
open eggshell-like borders, a sleek sushi bar and spacious
Nisens history dates back to humble beginnings in 2000
when owner/president Tom Lam opened a small Japanese sushi
restaurant in East Northport. In a few years, Nisen moved
to Commack, proving so successful that another location opened
in Woodbury in 2007, with Horst Design on board. Last summer,
the company was brought on for the Commack locations
renovation and expansion, which closed the restaurant for
three months but gave it new life as a thriving hotspot.
The menu is rife with variety and specialty appetizers, sashimi,
sushi rolls and entrees, and the specials are always enticing.
The lounge menu boasts delicacies like Rock Shrimp Tempura
and Oyster Yaki in garlic butter sauce, alongside an adventurous
and flirtatious martini menu.
Lobster Tacos ($14) and the Yellowtail Jalapeño ($15)
are standout appetizers from the regular menu. In the tacos,
a crisp mini-shell is layered with tasty, fresh lobster ceviche,
aged feta, jalapeño and a black olive to make for an
exquisite combination of flavors. The Yellowtail, which sits
in a delicate, slightly citrus-like yuzu dressing, is sliced
thin and topped with a jalapeño and cilantro for a
Off the specials menu, the Cajun Chilean Sea Bass Skewers
($10) are out of this world, tender and cooked just right,
served with a sweet wasabi aioli. Fresh soft shell crab ($12)
is served in an incredible yaki garlic butter sauce
its scent wafts toward you as soon as the dish hits the table,
and you cant pick up your fork fast enough. Nisen excels
at spicy tuna anything, and the Crispy Spicy Tuna Gyoza ($12),
served with guacamole, spicy aioli and truffle oil is no exception
to that rule. A fun, adventurous sushi roll is the Rock N
Roll ($14), a cajun-seasoned whitefish and asparagus roll
in light tempura batter with marinated rock shrimp, black
and yuzu tobiko and capers.
Then came the pinnacle of our meal, the artistic creation
that is the Omakase ($75-$200), a massive platter featuring
the chefs selection of sushi and sashimi cascading down
a monstrous bed of ice. The dish which, on the night
of our visit, featured live scallop, O-Toro (fatty tuna),
Sockeye salmon, Aji tuna, California uni (sea urchin), Kumamoto
oyster, yellowtail, king crab, Japanese madai and hiramasa
is a magnificent display, accented by a glowing blue
light that illuminates under the ice and tree branches for
Even dessert was impressive. Chocolate Soufflé Cake
($10) is warm and moist, and banana and apple fritters ($8),
though fried crisp in a flaky dough on the outside, stay warm
and moist on the inside. A must-have are the Oreos friend
in funnel cake batter served with creamy vanilla Tahitian
ice cream ($10).
Get a taste of Nisen at their 10th anniversary White
Party on Saturday, Aug. 21 in Commack, beginning at
6 p.m. A platinum ticket (6 p.m. to closing, $110 pre-sale,
$120 at the door) gets you top shelf open bar, hors doeuvres,
sushi and hot foot stations. With a gold ticket (10 p.m. to
closing, $40 pre-sale, $50 at the door), enjoy the house open
bar and hors doeuvres. Featuring live entertainment
and music by Tempo, a portion of the proceeds goes to the
Leukemia & Lymphoma Society. Dont forget to wear
In addition, enjoy 10th anniversary specials at both locations
running until Sept. 15 take 15 percent off your take
out, delivery or walk-in order, or 15 percent off your dining
room check Sunday through Wednesday.
Happy Hour specials boast half-price appetizers and drink
specials Monday through Friday from 5-7 p.m. Geisha Mondays
in Commack will give a kick to your work week starting in
mid-to-late-September. With music by Nisens house DJ,
ladies enjoy a house open bar from 9 to 10 p.m. Woodbury offers
a similar deal on Thursdays.
Or, bring the sushi bar to you. The restaurant will cater
at your home or corporate event. They also do on-premise catering
5032 Jericho Turnpike, Commack
7967 Jericho Turnpike, Woodbury