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First Look at Bugs, a Homespun Japanese Joint Opening Today

bugsVanessa Yurkevich Sho Boo at Bugs.
bugs 2Vanessa Yurkevich

Sho Boo grew up in Osaka, Japan, a daughter of Korean immigrants. When she was young her mother opened a small ramen shop in their hometown and that’s when she took an interest in cooking. “I would help her out at the shop,” she said, “and I learned from her. “

In Japan, sushi chefs were rarely women. So when Ms. Boo came to the United States 11 years ago she was surprised to find opportunity: for 10 years she worked as a sushi chef, training at Sushi Yasuda in Midtown and Jewel Bako in the East Village. Today she’ll return to her love of cooking, as she opens a shop of her own called Bugs on East 12th Street.

“Bugs tend to gather, especially around a bright light and this restaurant is the bright light that everyone would gather around,” said Ms. Boo. Read more…

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…

Sushi Spot from Jewel Bako Alumna

Grub Street reports that Sho Boo, a former chef at one of the neighborhood’s finer sushi spots, Jewel Bako, will open Bugs at 504 East 12th Street in July. The fifteen-seat restaurant will serve “sushi and Japanese small plates like chicken saikyo yaki.” Elsewhere in the sushisphere, Iconic Hand Rolls is now hiring.

Cotan Replaced by Another Sushi Joint, But a More Iconic One?

photo(129)Daniel Maurer

David Ravvin, a 29-year-old graduate of N.Y.U.’s Stern School of Business, is opening a sushi joint where Cotan once rolled rice at 135 First Avenue, near St. Marks Place. As you can see from the plywood art created Tuesday by street artist Para, he’s hoping his concept will be a bit more iconic than his predecessor’s was.

The name of the 14-seat restaurant, Iconic Hand Rolls, is a play on the word “cone” – a reference to the funnel-like rolls that Japanese cooking authority Hiroko Shimbo created for the 8- to 12-item menu.  Read more…

The Day | A Matter of Taste

16 HandlesScott Lynch

Good morning, East Village.

To help cool you off from this summer heat, the folks who made People’s Pops at the Brooklyn Flea and Chelsea Market are opening an East Village location this afternoon. The new ice pop stand will open at 5 today at 118 First Avenue near East Seventh Street. Eater NY reports that the location is a former flower cabana that sits between Caracas Arepa Bar and a corner deli.

In other neighborhood news, DNAinfo reports that HBO will soon release unaired footage that pertains to two former NYPD officers acquitted of rape charges. The footage, which was deleted from the network’s movie “Sex Crimes Unit,” will go to defense attorney Joseph Tacopina. Mr. Tacopina represents Kenneth Moreno, 43, one of the men acquitted in late May. Mr. Moreno’s partner, Franklin Mata, 29, was also acquitted. The officers’ charges stemmed from a December 2008 incident in which the officers were accused of raping a 27-year-old woman in her East Village apartment.

The Post reports that Fu Sushi restaurant on Avenue B has been serving customers despite New York City’s Department of Health ordering the business to close. The department closed Fu Sushi June 23 after logging 99 health violations, including the presence of mice and roaches in the restaurant. Department officials posted a closed sign on the restaurant’s storefront; however, Fu Sushi employees have obscured the sign and continued business as usual, The Post says.