This Yonkers Japanese Restaurant Is Putting a Twist on Tradition

You’ll find lobster tacos, sushi pizza, and poke on the menu at ISO Japanese Cuisine.



Photos by Amanda Mainguy

Tucked inside the historic Boyce Thompson building in Yonkers, ISO Japanese Cuisine is sushi spot and Japanese restaurant that’s a little different from the rest. Yes, the menu boasts traditional favorites like sushi, sashimi, tempura, and teriyaki, but it is dishes like the lobster taco that really steal the show. “Our style is not old and traditional,” says Nick Lam, owner and sushi head chef. “We look to the future.”

Modern takes on Japanese cuisine are executed well at ISO. Take, for example, the blue crab fajita — a crispy tortilla overstuffed with Maryland blue crab, shallots, onions, and cream cheese — that’s almost like a crab Rangoon with an extra nod to the crab. Another customer favorite is the tuna pizza topped with guacamole, fresh slabs of raw tuna, spicy cream, chives, rice caviar, and tobiko with balsamic vinegar. It’s a good mix of textures and flavors, probably not quite like anything you’ve tasted before.

This is not Lam’s first go-round. Also a co-owner of KOKU in Armonk, he’s been doing sushi for more than 15 years and believes what differentiates his cuisine is the microscopic focus to detail. Almost every morning, Lam drives to JFK to pick up a box of fresh fish, imported from Tokyo’s Tsukiji Fish Market. He inspects it on the spot and immediately returns anything that is not up to his standards.

Also reflection ISO’s mix of old and new is the location. The early-20th-century building was recently restored, and the space boasts exposed brick walls, exposed ceilings, and a mural of two Japanese women, dressed in traditional clothing, waiting for their families to come home. When asked why that particular image was chosen, manager Stephanie Wang says, “We want out customers to feel like it’s home here.”

 

ISO Japanese Cuisine
1086 N Broadway
Yonkers
914.963.0777

 

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