Aozora: The Place to Be for Japanese Food

This wonderful spot with creative sushi and delicious kitchen offerings is everything a lover of Japanese food could ask for. If you have never been to Aozora in Montclair, you should definitely give it a try. And if you have been, but not in a while…it is time to come back to this Best of Essex winner. It is nothing short of a treat.

Under the management of Ben and Amy Chen, Aozora has become the spot for some of the best Japanese food available in the area, with a number of tasty options available. The spicy Angry Dragon Roll combines spicy tuna, mango, tempura shrimp, and avocado, and is wrapped in a soy/chili paper which is then drizzled with Sriracha sauce. 

Another innovative creation is the Galaxy Roll, which features spicy kani and avocado with seared salmon on the outside topped with ground peanuts, scallions, and a special sauce of Ben’s invention. Don’t miss the Twister Roll–shrimp tempura and avocado topped with spicy salmon, fresh salmon and Thai mango chili sauce. Though it is not on the menu, Ben happily fills requests for Hawaii Tuna Tartare, which arrives with chunks of marinated tuna, avocado, slices of orange, and red caviar wasabi. When pressed for their menu favorites, Amy immediately says the Surf & Turf, which includes a generous filet mignon, resting on julienne vegetables, which are atop risotto, and features a generous selection of shrimp and sea scallops. Ben the sushi chef just loves the cheesecake–it is a soft, wonderful individual cake served with a scoop of vanilla ice cream, a home-made moon cookie, chocolate sauce and a strawberry garnish. Be sure to save room for it; it is enough to share.

Ben, the chef and also the husband in this husband and wife team, has been working in restaurants ever since he came to the US at 16. In fact, it was why a friend set up a blind date for him with Amy, who also worked in an Asian restaurant. The date worked out, the romance blossomed and now, together they run this successful Montclair eatery. Amy’s smile is what greets you when you first arrive. Ben’s domain is the back of the store. While they have continued to offer the favorite dishes that have been bringing satisfied customers back for years, Ben’s innovative artistry behind the sushi bar delights regulars and new customers alike. Stop in to discover–or rediscover–their creative dishes and see why Aozora is truly the place to be for Japanese favorites.


407 Bloomfield Avenue, Montclair  


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10 Apr 2019

By Dan Epstein