Nori With Attitude at Compton Sushi

We spent our lunch break today chatting with Jesse and Fletcher Getz, the siblings/restaurateurs behind the newly minted Compton Sushi on 8th Ave!

The Getz brothers wanted to bring the Southern Californian flavors to NYC, but felt their restaurant needed to have a twist.

“I was a line cook for years at a couple of Venice Beach seafood places,” said Fletcher, who cut his teeth at Salt Air and Crow’s Nest, “so I knew what the traditional boardwalk food was all about. And Jesse spent some time in Japan eating sushi basically every other meal.”

 According to Jesse, “It just seemed natural to combine the two.”

“We love New York so far, but we know a lot of West Coasters get homesick, so we wanted to bring a little bit of Cali to Brooklyn, and we had a few friends who had just moved to the area.”

“We loved the Asian vibe and foresaw a kind of West meets East situation.”

The Japanese/American restaurant grabs influences from both coasts, with a nod to the Coney boardwalk in a Chili/Cheese Tonkatsu.  The West coast gets love from the Tojo Dog, an oriental take on  Dodger Stadium’s famous 10-inch Dodger Dog. Continue reading

Brace For Coney’s – New Bar Graces SH

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Coney’s Bar is the kind of place you go to escape a sudden rain, but end up staying all day even after the weather has cleared. The jukebox, cheap at 3 plays for a dollar, is stocked with well-worn favorites (Lou Reed, the Ramones, Talking Heads) and the popcorn machine fills  bellies with a delicious snack and the the bar with the smell of butter.

Coney’s moved into the space that Bar Tweed vacated and has made major changes.

“We’re less into gimmicks and more into just having a good time.” Continue reading

King of La Rioja

When entrepreneur Rex Tanlin surveyed Brooklyn to find the perfect place to open a new bar/eatery; capitalizing on his success as a sommelier at Grand Prospect Hall, and briefly, behind the scenes at Nobu New York, he saw a well-worn field.

“It definitely seemed like everywhere I looked, people were trying to do a watered-down version of what I was trying to create. I really questioned my originality, but also I just questioned the marketplace, and finally asked myself, ‘Where am I most needed?’”

Rex immediately saw an opportunity in Shang Heights, opening La Rioja two weeks ago, to fill a niche that had long been missing and that, for the majority of us who have longed for a low-key date night spot, was sorely needed.

“I spent a lot of time in Spain this last year, sampling the different flavors of the regions. It was such a change from the comfort food-type of dishes that I had been used to creating.” “I decided then and there that I had to bring this kind of food back to Brooklyn.”tapasfood

What Rex brought back cannot be described.  A converted subterranean space with an all wood surface made from reclaimed upstate barn beams that are as warm and fleshy as your date; a playful menu which includes creamy clam and potato tartlets garnished with parsely foam and candied onions; and a wine list that is beyond eclectic (Vietnamese rice wine? Yes please) but not beyond affordable.

“You’ll see a lot of Spanish wines that you know, but then also ones that you don’t, and some where you’re like, ‘what is THAT doing on this list?!’, but they all pair really amazingly with our dishes.”

Candlelight, great wine, fun food: the perfect cheek-to-cheek spot for you and your lady or fella. La Rioja and King Rex reigns!

 

La Rioja 

Hours: Tuesday-Thursday, 6:00-11:00/ Friday-Saturday, 8:00-1:00

5520 7th Avenue, 11220

347 392 4488

Brooklyn Spiritual Center Opens On 8th Ave

The open-minded Brooklyn Spiritual Center is now open, providing space to those seeking enlightenment, unstructured worship and inner development.  Founders Trevor Zernike and Leanna Wurtz organized the Center from the ground up over about 8 months.

“The seed for the Center was really planted during our trip through Tibet, Nepal and India in 2010,” said Trevor, when he and Leanna “explored a variety of spiritual traditions.”  They visited Buddhist and Hindu temples, experienced 10 days of silent Vipassana meditation, and even delved into local animist practices.  Trevor took copious notes in a now-dogeared Moleskine, which he is working on turning into a travel memoir.

“We were constantly inspired by these new ideas,” Leanna recalled, “but very disappointed in the organizations presenting them.” The pair felt that all organized religions “seemed to be based on just making money, and that’s not what we’re about.”

At $16 a month, membership provides access to yoga classes, meeting rooms, a holistic wellness center, and prayer hours at a non-denominational chapel.

“It’s a space where everyone is meant to feel comfortable.” Leanna said of the chapel. “‘Chapel’ is sort of a shorthand we use. Officially it’s just a place for quiet contemplation for people of all faiths and beliefs; it could just as easily be a mosque, or a temple, or stone site.”spiritual center

While there have long been both Buddhist temples and a range of Christian churches in the area, the addition of a Spiritual Center will provide ShangHeighters with a new, more inclusive option.

“Obviously we don’t want to step on anyone else’s toes, but we’re definitely looking to build a real community around this place. We feel very strongly about that.”

For a full schedule of classes and events, and for more information about membership fees and donation opportunities, go online or check them out at their 8th Avenue location.

 

Brooklyn Spiritual Center

Hours: Membership required. Public worship: Sunday and Tuesday, 6AM – 7AM

718 365 1090