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New to Montclair area: sushi, produce, burritos

Hi all! We just moved to Montclair from Brooklyn, and I've had a great time following up on some of the other Montclair-themed threads - Chengdu 1, for example, was amazing, and ditto the coffee chip ice cream at Mark & Julie's. However, there are a handful of specific questions that I wanted to run by the board. Any help is greatly appreciated.

1) We're pretty enthusiastic sushi eaters, but are also trying to be good doobies and stick to sustainably-sourced fish. This can make it difficult to go to a place like Tomo, where it seems to be purely omakase. While I don't expect to find a sushi restaurant that specifically emphasizes sustainable sushi (heck, there isn't one in all of NYC), is there a sushi place within driving distance that (A) is really good, and (B) would at least know the source of their fish (and wouldn't mind someone being a pain and asking about it)? A lot of sushi chefs get annoyed by this line of inquiry...

2) I know about the Saturday farmer's market, but is there a good source of fresh produce for the other six days of the week? A farmstand would be wonderful, but if not, is one supermarket notably better than the others?

3) Finally, is NJ any less of a burrito wasteland than New York? Anywhere with burritos worth driving to nearby?

Thanks for any suggestions. This is quite an adjustment, but looks like a great one so far!

Chengdu 1
89 Pompton Ave, Cedar Grove, NJ 07009

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  1. I grew up in Montclair but haven't been back in a looong time. Mexicali Rose used to be one of my favorite Mexican joints though. I wonder if it's still any good...

    3 Replies
    1. re: joonjoon

      I believe Mexicali Rose closed a couple of years ago.

      1. re: Anthony A

        Really? That's amazing...back when I lived there there was ALWAYS a 30min - 1 hour wait for that place. I wonder what happened...

        1. re: joonjoon

          The original owner sold Mexicali Rose a few years ago. After the sale, the restaurant really went downhill - the new owners tried relying on the name but people figured out that it was headed south. It then closed, and another restaurant was being worked on to replace it. Oddly enough, right before the new place was scheduled to open, it re-opened, again, as Mexicali Rose. I haven't been to this version yet.

          The original owner now owns Cuban Pete's, right on Bloomfield Avenue. It's a decent, casual place with some pretty good dishes on the menu. Service is a bit dodgy, especially when it's crowded - and it is as crowded as Mexicali Rose used to be.

          Cuban Petes
          428 Bloomfield Ave, Montclair, NJ 07042

    2. Hi, we are just moving to Montclair too (me from Queens!) and have the same desire to find fresh local food and good restaurants. I am very used to all kinds of ethnic food in Queens and wonder what good places are in town and around, preferably that are not on the main ave (those I know already). Any ideas? We can share experiences and observations....


      1. In Verona, the next town over, try Tortilla Sunrise on Grove St. I had their chicken mole a couple of months ago, and it was really good.

        Whole Foods has good (but pricey) produce. Sometimes the "Farm Stores" (there's one in Verona on Bloomfield Ave) will have decent produce. Also, from now until October or November, you can find real farmer's markets in other towns in the vicinity. This is a list of NJ farmers markets:

        1. In West Orange we like Los Tapatios for Mexican food -- the restaurant side as opposed to the bar side. They have really good tres leches there too.

          Tito's Burritos has spots in Summit and Morristown. I like their surfer dude burritos.

          Los Tapatios Restaurant & Bar
          10 Main St West, Orange, NJ

          Tito's Burritos
          26 Washington St, Morristown, NJ 07960

          1. Tinga's is decent for tacos and burritos, which is in Upper Montclair. There's a farm stand in Verona right on Bloomfield Ave that also appears at the Saturday market in Montclair.

            Nori Sushi is pretty good. The YAM YAM EEL is an awesome appetizer, sushi with sweet potato.

            1. The farmer's market in West Orange is on Friday afternoons behind town hall - intersection of Main St. & Mt. Pleasant Ave. You can stop there on the way to Los Tapatios.

              Los Tapatios Restaurant & Bar
              10 Main St West, Orange, NJ

              1. Welcome to Essex county. We moved back to NJ (Maplewood) from Brooklyn six years ago and have been searching out ethnic eats ever since. Great question about sustainable fish. I've never asked that question, but our favorite sushi places are: Taka Sushi and Monster Sushi in Summit, and Daimatsu in Mountainside. A little south of Montclair, but might be worth the trip.

                I second Los Tapatios in West Orange. We also like El Rancho Grande, literally around the corner from Tapatios in Orange. Haven't tried the burritos, but Senorita's in Bloomfield is also decent.

                Monster Sushi
                395 Springfield Ave, Summit, NJ 07901

                Los Tapatios Restaurant & Bar
                10 Main St West, Orange, NJ

                Taka Sushi Restaurant
                95 Summit Ave, Summit, NJ 07901

                El Rancho
                540 Valley Rd, West Orange, NJ 07052

                1. Mind blowing sushi at Tomoe on Pompton Avenue in Little Falls just north of Bloomfield Ave in Verona.

                  1. For produce + other interesting stuff, you should take a ride over to Kam Man Foods on Rt. 10 in E. Hanover. It's a HUGE Asian market. All sorts of goodies there, including some food that you can eat in the food court-esque area.

                    It's in a weird spot...in a strip mall on Rt. 10 W that sits perpendicular to the road. You turn in immediately after the light where you would turn to go to Dick's Sporting Goods and Home Depot (there's a Burger King on the opposite side of that intersection). I think Loehmann's is the store that sits on Rt 10--turn in to that parking lot and go to the end. And fwiw, there's a Mexican place in that strip mall that one of my co-workers swears by. I've not eaten there, but he's pretty picky about food in general, so it may be worth checking out!

                    Also in that part of the world: Saffron, which has a wonderful (Indian) buffet (7 days a week at last check). It's basically across Rt 10 from that Home Depot--blink and you'll miss it. Oh, and just to add to the Rt 10 weirdness, the back of the restaurant is what faces the highway. And...welcome to NJ! :-)

                    Kam Man Food
                    200 State Route 10, East Hanover, NJ 07936