Saturday, January 28, 2023

When a small business reaches its 10th anniversary, it’s a significant milestone. When that business is a kosher restaurant, thriving at this historical moment, the achievement is all the more notable.

A recent article in RestaurantOwner.com notes that a study by faculty at Cornell University and Michigan State University of restaurants in three local areas over 10 years found that after the first year, 27% of restaurants failed and after three years, 50% of them had failed. After 10 years, 70% of the new restaurants had closed. Reaching a 10-year anniversary, then, is a reliable indicator of the abiding appeal of a restaurant.

Yet this is no ordinary time. In the past three years, restaurants have faced both the shifting challenges of pandemic precautions and the “great resignation,” an economic phenomenon in which over 47 million Americans (many in lower-wage jobs) voluntarily quit their jobs. If a restaurant makes it to its 10th anniversary now, after facing those two challenges, its truly a remarkable development.

As Sushiana Restaurant in Highland Park prepares to celebrate its 10th anniversary on Monday, January 23, with a food-tasting event that features two seatings—one at 4:00 p.m. and another at 6:00 p.m., the restaurant can look back on an impressive decade of growth in Highland Park. As noted in a post on the Highland Park, New Jersey, Facebook page in November to mark Sushiana’s anniversary, “Sushiana started with a staff of 4, seating for 16, and a 700 square foot space; it now has a staff of 10, seating for 48, and a 1900 square foot space.”

Sushiana is a strictly kosher restaurant, under the supervision of the VAAD HaKashrut of Raritan Valley. The restaurant is an innovative Pan-Asian and pescatarian grill, honoring the flavors of traditional Japanese, Chinese and Thai cuisine. They can accommodate vegan, vegetarian or gluten-free needs and can offer catering for events in synagogues and other venues.

The food-tasting event on January 23 will allow both regular customers and newcomers to experience many of the recent additions to the restaurant’s menu. The event will also feature Alexei Yavtuhovich, renowned violinist, who will perform during both seatings.

To RSVP for the event, please call Milton at 732-306-0040. The cost to attend is $12.50 per person, and RSVPs must be received by Friday, January 20.

Statements from a few community members illustrate the reputation that has enabled Sushiana to reach this milestone. Cheryl Kornfeld of Highland Park posted this glowing review on the Great Kosher Restaurant Foodies page on Facebook (which has over 77,000 followers), on Friday, January 6: “Last night Michael and I went to dinner at Sushiana in Highland Park, NJ. Don’t mind some of the pictures, most were taken after we started eating. We ordered the sushi pizza, the homemade onion rings, a California roll and the Japanese crispy salmon sandwich. Everything we ordered was excellent. The onion rings are made with real onions (not minced like the frozen kind) and the breading was extremely crispy. You really can’t compare these to any other onion rings. The sushi pizza was excellent. It was prepared on what seemed like a very crispy tortilla. You have a choice of toppings, so we chose the kani. I’ve had California rolls from other places, but they really don’t compare to Sushiana. The Japanese crispy salmon sandwich was delicious. It had a lot of flavor and the salmon was still crispy when it was served.”

“What I love most about Sushiana is their use of fresh ingredients and their ability to treat each and every customer as if they are the only one in the store,” said David Tawil of Highland Park to The Jewish Link. “Michael and his team take pride in their work, ensure they provide a top-notch product which is made to order and demonstrate creativity in how they combine ingredients and ideas in innovative ways.”

“Sushiana is the premiere kosher restaurant in Highland Park,” Yehuda Hecht of Edison told The Jewish Link. “Food is always fresh and flavorful and the ownership and management treat customers like family. They take special care to accommodate our family’s food allergies.”

Sushiana is located at 17 North 4th Ave in Highland Park, New Jersey. They can be reached by phone at 732-640-0111 or online at www.Sushiana.com.

By Harry Glazer

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