If you haven’t noticed, Montclair is absolutely fit to burst with sushi restaurants. Diners have their pick of ten or twelve places at any given time, making it difficult for restaurants to distinguish themselves from the pack. Aozora manages to accomplish just that, and sets itself apart with high quality, elegant food served with a European bent. You could describe Aozora as a sort of Asian-European fusion, though they execute traditional Japanese classics with equal flair and precision.
For my dinner there, I started with the spicy miso soup, which was neither overly salty nor overly spicy, and had a clean balance of flavors. The seasonally appropriate pumpkin soup with coconut milk and baby shrimp is Duck Spring Rollanother tempting option as far as soups go. For salads, I tried the Zen salad; a blend of greens in a crispy sort of wonton bowl topped with delicious ginger dressing. The dressing was a refreshing change from the overly sweet, neon orange dressings in so many places around here. More along the European lines is the Arugula salad, served with warm goat cheese and broth tomato confit and shallot confit- classic ingredients I’ve been seeing quite a lot since I started at the French Culinary Institute. I also sampled the duck spring rolls, served up crispy but not greasy, stuffed with duck confit and shitake mushrooms, with a yummy plum sauce for dipping.
For my full review and run-down of all the delicious food at Aozoro, view my article on Hot From The Kettle