Friday, February 1, 2008

MoCA

Pretty anti-climatic at this point, but a handwritten sign painted on the old UJ's mailbox reads "Moca". So, it's official. Here's Newsday's review from the Hewlitt location:

MoCA Asian Bistro hits Hewlett like that proverbial oasis-in-the-desert. To judge by the crowds during its opening week, the stylish and ambitious place immediately is feeding on pent-up demand. The look is contemporary and the food a tasty mix of the familiar and the new. The menu ranges from a tuna-topped pizza and Vietnamese summer roll to curried seafood soup and Beijing duck. The quality at this early stage is consistent, too. You can have a basic wonton or miso soup, but instead consider the coconut-seafood chowder, a lush and tropical update on the New England approach. Special sushi rolls also are very good, including "triple toro," made with tuna, yellowtail and salmon atop spicy avocado; Peninsula maki, with lobster and avocado capped with fresh kiwi and mango sauce; a tempura roll with salmon, asparagus, scallion and tomato. Nigirizushi and sashimi are available, as are the standard sushi rolls. Red snapper with pineapple sauce, Thai-style mango chicken, coconut-green curry tofu and vegetables, and that flavorful Beijing duck are among the colorful main courses. You'll need more than one visit to take it all in.


Hours
Lunch, noon to 3 p.m.; dinner, 5 pm. to 9:30 p.m. seven days.

Assessment
Ambitious and very good.


So now that's it's official, let's break it down. . .

Winners:

Pizzeria Uno - New popular restaurant should bring lots of spill over that UJ's never provided.
Cabana - see above
Blockbuster - Though it looks on its last legs, should see a bump of people hitting it after dinner.
Piu Bello - Better post-dinner date clientele than Mardi Gras.
Staubach Center - Area needed one more big draw to woo large scale retailers, and MoCA should deliever.
Forest Hills Residents Within Walking Distance - Parking will be a nightmare, but pedestrians have a non-schlocky large-scale place that seems like it will be very lively.

Losers:

Bangkok Cuisine - Has a hell of a fight on its hands.
Jade - Is there room in this town for two large-scale Asian fusion restaurants? Awesome location and design so if Asian fusion doesn't prove economically viable anymore, hopefully will flip menus to something the market needs.
Peking Duck Forest - Should still get the old-timers, but how long will that last?
Santa Fe Steakhouse - Bar raised on these big places, can SF Steak answer bell? Huge sodas might not cut it anymore. Initial spill over will be nice, but now there is destination place on the row that very well has superior food.

No word on opening date, but expect big crowds and lots of hair gel the first few weeks.