If you’re a sushi lover (and who isn’t nowadays?) and you prefer a restaurant setting over takeout, then run, don’t walk, to Akai Lounge in Westfield! It’s downtown’s newest triple threat: amazing food, great atmosphere, and unique cocktails–yes siree, they have a liquor license!
The owners are a married couple named James Lu and Lillian Bien, who also own the sister Akai Lounge in Englewood. It’s such a great story of how they came to choose Westfield for their second location. According to Lillian: “We had been looking to expand for about a year. My husband scouted a restaurant location a couple towns away and found Westfield when he was trying to make his way to the Garden State Parkway. When James first drove into Westfield, he got out of his car and absolutely fell in love with the town–Westfield is just so vibrant and happening. After doing some research, we thought we would be able to offer a dining experience that’s a bit different from what’s currently in Westfield.”
The interior of Akai features red walls and dim lighting–perfect for date night. Toward the back is a small bar where their mixologist concocts a wide variety of cocktails, including the lychee martini and lychee mojito (the latter a mixture of muddled mint, puréed lychee, and club soda–delicious!).
There’s an open area where you can see the chefs create some of their signature sushi rolls. The most popular roll at Akai is their OMG roll, and honestly, I ordered it for the name alone! That roll is packed with tempura shrimp, spicy tuna, spicy salmon, and lobster; a special corn-seaweed soy paper wraps the whole thing together, and the roll is served with Akai’s own creamy wasabi sauce as well as a sweet/spicy sauce. Another favorite among Akai patrons is the tuna guacamole appetizer, served in a martini glass for pure fun. And doesn’t everything taste better in a cocktail glass?
During these gorgeous summer months, you’ll be pleased to know that Akai has plenty of outdoor seating, so you can enjoy their fine food and spirits while people watching on bustling Broad Street.
You can find Akai Lounge at 102 East Broad Street. They’re open 7 days a week for lunch and dinner, and they offer takeout and catering as well.
Akai Lounge Website