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First Look Inside Iconic Hand Rolls, Serving Sushi to Coneheads Tomorrow

Photos: Daniel Maurer

Back in April, we brought word that David Ravvin, a 29-year-old graduate of N.Y.U.’s Stern School of Business, planned to open a quick-service sushi spot in the former home of Cotan, on First Avenue near Saint Marks Place. Soon after that, its plywood got defaced (to the delight of neighbor JoeDough), but after a fresh coat of paint, the restaurant opened to friends and family just minutes ago, and will open to the public tomorrow.

Earlier this evening, Hiroko Shimbo, the Japanese cooking authority who designed the menu, was busy in the kitchen as Mr. Ravvin buzzed about the modest eat-in area, which is still awaiting some finishing touches. Mr. Ravvin plans to plaster a mural of this photo of Rocky Aoki, the late charismatic founder of the Benihana chain, on a wall where the restaurant’s few tables are lined up. “He’s kind of an inspiration,” he explained. And he’s still working on perfecting a method of delivering the cone-like temaki rolls that will be the signature of his menu. (You can see that menu below.) Hours are from 6 p.m. to midnight daily, and beer and wine will be served. Read more…

Long Island’s Kotobuki Replaces Lan Next Week

photo(83)Daniel Maurer

A Japanese restaurant with three locations in Long Island will open in the space that was home to Lan, a neighborhood favorite for a little over a decade. When The Local stopped into Kotobuki at 56 Third Avenue earlier today, the owner politely declined to speak about the restaurant or let us take photos, since he is still staffing up, but said he hoped to quietly open next Thursday.

According to a Website advertising outposts in Babylon, Roslyn, and the original location in Hauppauge, the mini-chain was established in 1987, with an aim to “relentlessly revolutionize the facets of Japanese fare to craft extraordinary delights to satisfy even the most discerning of palates.” Read more…