Kosher in Deal/Long Branch
Can someone sum up the places in the Deal are this summer. I was down there yesterday. Freddies and Scops are closed. Did the two pizza shops change owners?
I understand that Kyo and 656 are upscale. What about moderate places to eat. How is Chang Mao.
New places this summer:
1. Zuma Beach @ the Deal Casino (day hours for Casino members & guests, open during the evening hours to all) is operated by the same owner of the Prime Grill & Solo and is an upscale and pricey steakhouse.
2. Albert's - A fish/steak/chicken steakhouse, located on Second Ave in W. Long Branch, across from where Ranoosh used to be located. They also operate a fish & grocery shop next door. From what I hear, they partnered with the owner of Jerusalem Steak House, so the fare is typical Israeli/Mediterranean cuisine.
3. Yuda's Cafe. Located on Norwood Ave, a door down from Kyo. I have'nt heard scratch about this place which is located where Freddie's Grill used to be.
Kyo is not what I would call upscale- the ambiance rivals that of your average neighborhood chinese take-out joint, while the prices and the paucity of the servings turned me away for good.
Ocean 656 is pretty good-- if you stay away from the steaks and try all their other interesting and zany dishes. Not recommended for the steak-lover obviously.
Chang Mao Sakura is the place to be; that is if you're a pre-pubescent 12-year old, and want to hang out with the cool kids, or those Lakewood frummies out on an expensive date. Again, it's expensive, and its worthwhile to order from Manalapan's Chinese take-out, as they deliver to the Deal area for some odd reason.
I have also learned that Branches, which was an excellent, upscale restaurant is not open this year, although the catering hall will be.
I've also heard a rumor that the owner of Ranoosh is opening another restaurant, if its not already open.
Dougies is still going strong, but its not to my palate.
Jerusalem Pizza is now under the ownership of the family that brought you Slices Pizza.
Mazanoubeh is still around, and their food is decent- the joint just needs a very thorough cleaning.
Crawford's Cafe is open again this year, on Second Ave in Long Branch.
Back to Nature is an excellent dairy place, with an emphasis on nutritious, yet delicious food. In my opinion, it's not upscale enough for a dinner-date though.
Ronit Nahum operates a bakery shop on Norwood Ave, but now she has branched out into other take-out foodstuffs. Her appetizer salads are recommended.
As a followup, I have made a pilgrimage to Zuma Beach at the Deal Casino this past Saturday night, and I must say I was very pleased. Please keep in mind that our food tasting was limited by the fact that they were only offering a very minimal Saturday night fare, which is typical for places which open after a late ending of Shabbat.
Pricey. Cocktails from the tiki-bar were $15 by the glass. Appetizers were anywhere from $18-$22 each. The one main course they offered that night, the 16oz. rib-eye was priced $43.
Service. Needless to say, when all your evenings' covers arrive within the same 20 minute slot, seating and service take a toll. We waited nearly a half hour until we received the single-page menu-- and only after I called the maitre 'd over and explained that a table which was seated sometime after us already placed their orders. I had to call him over again later, because there was no waiter assigned to our table. The waiters were streaming out of the kitchen with the food, but kept going from table to table and asking diners if the dishes they carried are the ones they ordered. To be fair, these sort of problems will vanish once the waiters learn the table numbers (don't forget that this is a very new place which is quite large.)
Gratuity. On the bottom of the menu, it states that there is a charge of 18% for gratuity applied to every ticket, no matter how few diners. If the food wasn't excellent, I would have probably balked at paying gratuity since the service was so poor.
Now the pros:
Ever been on vacation, wishing you didn't keep kosher, because you were dying to try that oceanfront restaurant? Well God was listening, and he set some earthly mortals to task of bringing it to a kosher fruition.
Everything from the swaying palm trees, the tiki-bar, the beach seating section for bar-goers, the wood deck-top dining, the eclectic, hip and exciting DJ entertainment (flown in from the Prime Grill in LA just for the summer, and playing Thursday and Saturday nights, and also Sunday during the daytime hours I think). Did I mention that the food that we ordered was also straight from God's kitchen? Tender Chicken skewers in a mild-wasabi spiked guacamole, a generous portion of the classic beef jerky platter, huge ceasar salad, incredible herb-crusted french fries.
The cocktail drinks we ordered- pina coladas, "zuma sunsets" and my favorite- a fresh blended mango with a hint of alcohol, gin I think, were also quite delightful.
Under the sparkling stars, the dazzling orange-hazed moon, the gentle sussuration of the ocean, the glow of candle-lit table lamps, and the undertone of the pulsing DJ music, I found myself having an extraordinary time, which I look forward to visiting again sometime in the near future.
i would definitely recommend chang mao sakura. The service and food is great. We went the other day to the new restaurant Albert's. The meat and chicken entrees had everything ala carte. The fish entrees came with potato or rice and a veggie. We ordered sides of baked potato and spicy fries. The people bringing out the food did not know where the food went > OUr sides did not come with the food. It came a long while after and having to ask for it. The spicy fries never came. How can they not get the right sides especially since everything is alacarte. They automatically add 18 percent gratuity. We will not go back. There is also a dougies in town which is good. I would also recommend back to nature in allenhurst. The other bad one is kyo. Why cant we get a decent run restaurant
I have definitely had a different experience - I find Kyo to be the best sushi place out there, with the quality exceeding that of sushi at prime grill and other high end places. It is certainly a much better choice than Chang Mao, both the sushi and non-sushi options. At Kyo, I'd recommend trying the tuna carpaccio and tuna tau tau, as well as the lobster roll, the lemon roll, and kamikaze roll. The tempura is also amazing. We love the Kyo in Monsey as well.
Ocean 656 is a nice option. Menu is typical steakhouse, but good food, and good cocktails.
My wife and I have a very erratic meal Alberts. The baba, hummous, Israeli salads and pita was first rate. My steak came out twenty minutes before my wife's chicken arrived. The french fries I ordered came 15 minutes after the steak, The Roumanian tenderloin steak was oversalted--I needed to cut it with the pita. When we asked about my wife's chicken, all we were told was the kitchen was confused. There were maybe four other tables occupied at the time. When I complained to the owner, he listened blankly and said he would see what he could do. Never apologized. They did take my wife's chicken off the bill, but the overall impression was of a disorganized, ungracious, operation. And, overpriced. Go to Alberts if you must, but we won't again.