Oms/b Replaced By A New Location of Cafe Zaiya

As if yesterday’s Times Sq. Bagel news wasn’t enough… we recently got a tip from a Midtown Luncher that an additional location of Japanese bakery Cafe Zaiya has replaced Oms/b on 45th St. (btw. 3rd & Lex). Oms/b, which was highlighted by Midtown Lunch in 2006 and several times thereafter, specialized in omusubi, or Japanese rice balls. Cafe Zaiya also serves omusubi, in addition to many baked goods.

When I stopped by yesterday, the restaurant’s awning still said Oms/b, but a sign near the door had been covered in what appeared to be foil, with a Cafe Zaiya decal next to it. Although we are saddened to see a Midtown Lunch favorite close, it’ll be interesting to see how Cafe Zaiya #2 (or technically, #3 if you include the one in the bookstore on 6th Ave.) adapts to its locale. Clearly the restaurant owners aren’t afraid of competition; much like their original location on 41st btw. 5th and Madison, Japanese restaurants abound on the block (think Menchanko Tei, Riki, and Chef’s Secret). The space is much smaller than the original location with little seating and less space for food — however, many of the same items covered in an extensive food porn guide back in 2009 were on display. Staff were giving away small samples of one of the items covered in that post, the Spicy Tuna Bun.

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