Ocean City Today

Sushi Café offers unique options on 137th Street in OC

By Kara Hallissey | Aug 03, 2017
Photo by: Kara Hallissey Owners Yow Ha, left, and Alex Sananikone take time on Monday afternoon to pose for a picture in their new restaurant, Sushi Café, which is located on 137th Street.

(Aug. 4, 2017) Owners Yow Ha and Alex Sananikone met about 15 years ago while working at an Ocean City restaurant and decided to branch out on their own when they opened Sushi Café on 137th Street in June.

“We decided to do something for ourselves and take the next step,” Ha said. “We are a traditional Japanese restaurant with our own specialties and combinations.”

A house specialty and favorite is the café shrimp appetizer, he said. The dish has butterfly shrimp and crab imperial served with a roasted jalapeno wasabi mayo.

“All seafood-related dishes are selling well like the crab and tuna,” Ha said. “We are an intimate place with an open kitchen. The chef is making everything right in front of you. People like that.”

Many specialty maki dishes are seafood-based including the Chesapeake, which has ebi, bits, avocado, crab imperial and wasabi mayo. In addition, the Ocean City, is a customer favorite with jumbo lump crab, avocado, bits, ebi drape, spicy mayo and Old Bay. There are 15 additional combinations on the menu.

“The fresh combinations come with a lot of traditional and staple items,” Ha said.  “We like to play around with our specials and combinations to give people something different.”

Patrons can choose to sit at the 11-seat bar area overlooking the cook preparing all dishes or at a table, which can seat up to eight people.

The modern sushi bar came to fruition during wintertime when the owners discovered their 137th Street location.

“When we first moved in, the building was a shell,” Ha said.

Ha, Sananikone and his father, Souvath Sananikone, completed a majority of the construction work including laying floors, dry wall and painting. Sushi Café officially opened on June 30.

“There was a lot of passion put into this,” Ha said. “We focus on little details to make it a welcoming, fun and intimate atmosphere.”

Ha, who is originally from Philadelphia, moved to the area 15 years ago, while Sananikone was born and raised in Worcester County. They both have spent more than a decade working at local sushi bars.

“Some of our customers know us from [working at] other places and are happy to have a new local spot,” Ha said. “A lot of local clientele has been coming in and discovering us. We try to do the best we can and let the food speak for itself.”

Sushi Café on 137th Street is open every day from noon to 10 p.m., which will change to limited hours during the offseason. Call 443-373-2370 for more information or check out Sushi Café on Facebook and Instagram.

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