Archive for 'Cafe Zaiya'

Cafe Zaiya Closed by the DOH

We’ve gotten multiple reports that Cafe Zaiya (on 41st btw. Mad+5th) has been closed by the DOH.  According to the DOH website they got a 59 on their last inspection on Sunday, but there’s no record of what for. Hopefully they’ll be back open soon…

The 45th Street Café Zaiya is now BentOn Café

Last November, we reported that Oms/b (on 45th Street between Lex and 3rd) had been replaced by a new Café Zaiya location. Now, that same location has changed again to become BentOn Café. After sleuthing around on the Internet, I found that the Café Zaiya and BentOn Café companies merged back in 2012, but I guess someone decided that the BentOn brand was better for this particular location?

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Cafe Zaiya is Closed Again

Photo courtesy of Lunch’er Fred W.

It’s been a tough couple of months for the 41st Street branch of Cafe Zaiya (btw. Mad+5th).  Back in November they were temporarily closed by a fire in their building, and last week we discovered that they’re closed again- this time by the Department of Health.  We got word of the closure late in the day on Friday, and last night Lunch’er Fred W. confirmed that they were still closed. According to the DOH website they received a 78 on Thursday (score translation: not good)  and were shut down, but there is no word on when they will reopen.  Let’s hope it’s sooner rather than later…

Cafe Zaiya Has Partially Reopened After Building Fire

Thanks to Lunch’er Derrick for passing along this piece of good news! I think it’s safe to say most people just care about the bakery and the bento anyway, right?

Cafe Zaiya on 41st Closed Due to Building Fire

Cafe Zaiya on 41st Closed Due to Building Fire

In what we can only hope to be a gross misinterpretation of a Talking Heads song on part of their building neighbors, Cafe Zaiya’s location on 41st has been closed due to a fire in their building. No ETA to repair or restore yet, but if I’m not mistaken (please, please, please let me be mistaken) there’s now no place in Manhattan to get green tea soft serve ice cream. Could this be some karmic retribution on behalf of the Oms/b faithful, whose onigiri fortress was taken over recently by the expanding Cafe Zaiyaverse?

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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.

Grab A Cafe Zaiya Bento, And Eat In The Park

I never remember at lunchtime that Cafe Zaiya has an outpost nestled — almost hidden, if you don’t know to seek it out — on the second floor of the Kinokuniya book store on the west side of Bryant Park. As a Japanese food lover, I should be there every day of the workweek! But, alas, my Midtown Lunch posts would become repetative. Point being, I don’t go often enough, but the other day — one of those nice ones that was sunny and in the 70s — I became inspired to grab a bento and eat in the park.

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Oyakodonpalooza 2: Cafe Zaiya Vs Sakagura

Cafe Zaiya On a not too cold day, I decided to walk to Cafe Zaiya for some deep fried curry bread goodness. While looking around the store, hoping to buy more than just curry bread, I noticed in the refrigerated shelves there were few ready-made bowls of oyakodon ($5.49). Some of you may know that I’m on a mission to find some delicious oyakodons in Midtown. So far my favorite is the version from Udon West on 46th Street btw. Lex+3rd (with it’s perfectly cooked scrambled eggs and big chunks of dark meat) while Sapporo on 49th St., btw. 6th & 7th coming in a close second. For research sake, I decided to get one.

Then a few days later, a few of us in the office decided to get lunch. Not sure where to eat, a coworker suggested Sakagura (43rd St btw 2nd + 3rd). I had heard about this basement sake bar many years ago but in my head sake bars equal small plates of foods, so I never bothered to look at the menu. Most of the items on the lunch menu were way over the ML price range except for the appetizers and the plain (hot and cold) soba noodles ($9). Then I saw it, in the rice bowl section, an oyakodon for $11.50.  It seems like a head to head battle seemed in order.

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The Curry Items at Cafe Zaiya are Worth a Try

Cafe Zaiya It’s been a long time since I’ve had one of Cafe Zaiya‘s tasty sandwiches (my favorite is the fried fish sandwich) so I decided to stop by for a late lunch last week. One problem with eating lunch at Zaiya around 2:30pm is that most of the good stuff will be gone so there were no fish sandwiches or spicy chicken sandwiches (my plan b). There were, however, a few curry pork cutlet sandwiches left so I decided to get that (I was mesmerized by the sliced egg on top). While at the counter, waiting to pay, I also grabbed a curry pan. It was a curry sort of day.

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At Lunch Now: Cafe Zaiya is Back Open!

Great news from Lunch’er @cherryspoon. Cafe Zaiya is back open after yesterday’s run in with the tax man. Crisis averted… take us back Defcon 5.