BLOOMINGTON, MINN. –Masu Sushi & Robata, the state’s only sustainable sushi restaurant, is set to open its second location on Sun., July 22 at the Mall of America (344 S Avenue), Bloomington, Minn. The restaurant’s new location retains all the DNA of the original and adapts it to the Mall’s unique culture, according to Executive Chef Stephan Hesse.
The menus are almost exactly the same between the two sites, with a diverse array of noodles, sushi and robata. “We’ve tightened Mall’s menu a bit since we have a smaller kitchen in which to work,” notes Hesse, “But it’s actually a good thing as it’s allowed us to add some new items and created the opportunity to offer more specials. The Mall draws people from all over the world, and we’re looking forward to being able to change things up and see how they respond to different dishes.
Some of the new items being introduced are a NIKU-MAN (steamed bun) with fried tofu, Masu pickles, mayo and tonkatsu sauce; KITSUNE UDON, a noodle dish with dashi broth, fried tofu, wakame, soft poached egg and scallions; and a TOKUBETSU NA MEN, a noodle bowl special that will change daily.
Overseeing the kitchen will be Executive Chef Chris Olson. Front of the house operations will be managed by John Gleason.
“From a design perspective, I think fans of our original location will be more surprised by how similar the two locations are versus how they’re different,” notes Hesse. “We still have our pachinko machines, munny dolls and our signature geisha murals. We even have our columns,” added Hesse, referring to the northeast location’s exterior columns, an eclectic feature and a carryover from the building’s previous life as a bank.
Masu worked with Shea, who designed the original site, to ensure the look of the MOA location retained its colorful, eye-popping, playful design. Under Shea’s guidance, the restaurant retains its original DNA, but has a more effective and efficient design reflecting the demands of having 3000 vs. 4000 square feet to work with (the size of Masu NE).
Fans will recognize the distinctive curved sushi counter that flows into the bar, but for the MOA site the two have switched position with the bar upfront and the sushi counter toward the back of the restaurant. “This was a very strategic switch on our part,” says Hesse. “We now have the sushi chefs directly connected to the chefs in the back of house. This is great for our chefs, and should help ensure faster turnaround on orders.” Something Hesse is sensitive too as he anticipates that many mall diners will be in a hurry to eat and get back into the mall to shop.
Masu Sushi & Robata’s Mall of America hours will be 11 am to 10 pm Mon. through Sat., and 11 am to 8 pm on Sun.
Masu Sushi & Robata is the creation of Sushi Avenue in conjunction with James-Beard awarding winning chef, Tim McKee and the marketing and design firm, Shea, Inc.
Masu Sushi & Robata is an award-winning Japanese restaurant featuring noodles, sushi and robata. It is the only sustainable sushi restaurant in Minnesota, with locations in northeast Minneapolis and at the Mall of America in Bloomington, Minn. In 2012 it was named one of the ten best new sushi restaurants in America by Bon Appetit.
The restaurant is the creation of Sushi Avenue, in conjunction with James-Beard awarding winning chef, Tim McKee, and the marketing design firm, Shea, Inc. The restaurant is a subsidiary of Sushi Avenue, a private, family-owned sushi company that supplies chefs, recipes, seafood and other sushi-related ingredients to upscale supermarkets, universities and foodservice locations across the country.
Sushi Avenue president and CEO, Nay Hla, has more than 17 years of experience in the sushi industry. Nay, along with his brother, Nay Lin, who serves as Sushi Avenue’s vice president, founded Sushi Avenue in 2004 rapidly turning it into one of the premier sushi businesses in the country. For more information call 651.294.7000 or visit: www.sushiavenue.com.