Archive for 'Cafe Zest'

CONFIRMED: Onya Noodles is Taking Over Old Cafe Zest Space


Thanks to Lunch’er Blair for sending in this photo, which confirms the news we reported back in June.  Onya, the Japanese udon chain owned by the same company that owns Beard Papa, will be taking over the Cafe Zest space on 47th btw. Lex+3rd.  No word on an opening day, but here’s hoping that it isn’t too far off.

Cafe Zest Space to Become Beard Papa Owned Udon Joint?

Cafe Zest Space to Become Beard Papa Owned Udon Joint?

We’re hearing rumors that the company who owns Beard Papa, will be bringing a branch of their Japanese Udon restaurant (called Onya) to the now vacant Cafe Zest space on 47th btw. Lex+3rd.  There is also the possibility that it could end up sharing the space with a new branch of Beard Papa, who just closed their counter inside Cafe Zaiya (although that part is still up in the air.)  Anybody been overseas and eaten at (or heard of) Onya before?  Is it a cheap, fast food kind of place (like Udon West) or a fancy sit down place (i.e. expensive?)  Let us know in the comments…

Cafe Zest Goes Out of Business


Every since Cafe Zaiya (on 41st btw. Mad+5th) severed ties with them we’ve been getting emails complaining about the decline in the quality of food being served at Zest (on 47th btw. Lex+3rd).  So it should come as no big surprise that they closed at the beginning of the month (thanks to Lunch’er Gaji for the tip.) I’m sure the opening of Dainobu, on the same block, didn’t help matters either. The awning has been changed to read Amakusa (the name of the restaurant that used to occupy the upstairs space) but according to a sign on the door new management will be opening a new restaurant soon.  A photo of that is after jump…

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Cafe Zaiya Adds $5 Special; No Longer Affiliated With Cafe Zest


Cafe Zaiya (on 41st btw. Mad+5th), the winner of Best Japanese Take Out in last year’s Readers’ Poll, has severed ties with Cafe Zest, the slightly more upscale version of the grocery store they opened on 47th btw. Lex+3rd earlier in the year.  The people at Zaiya didn’t want to discuss the reasons for the break-up and admitted that the food will probably remain “similar” at Zest, but that it’s not “authentic [Zaiya] product.”  I stopped by Cafe Zest yesterday, and it doesn’t look like anything has changed, although they have added a line of serve yourself soups, and an Udon bar.

Zaiya on the other hand has added a brand new lunch special for the money conscious…

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Day 2 Worse Than Day 1 at Cafe Zest

Pandemonium at Cafe Zest

Yesterday Lunch’er Max sent me this photo from the line at Cafe Zest (on 47th btw. Lex+3rd), the new Japanese place opened by the owners Cafe Zaiya (on 41st btw. Mad+5th.) For their grand opening celebration they decided to offer everything for 50% off, yesterday and today, from Noon to 3pm. As you can see from the photo, yesterday got pretty bad, and they had run out of most everything but vegetarian bento boxes and white bread sandwiches by 1:45. Apparently today, it’s even worse. From the comments:

Walked over at 12 today, and man – the line was horrendous. For the usual folk who have just an hour lunch, it’s def’ not going to work out. We thought the 12pm lunch would be less crowded as 1pm is the more favored lunch slot – but we thought wrong. Apparently, Zaiya fans have all heard about Zest already. The line outside the door was about 70 deep at 12:15ish. There goes my plan for stocking up on ITO teas!

A review from somebody who stuck it out, after the jump…  Read more »

Don’t Forget 50% off Day at Zest by Zaiya: A friendly reminder about the grand opening special going on today and tomorrow at Cafe Zest on 47th St. btw. Lex+3rd.  Everything is half off from Noon to 3pm, so if you're a fan of Cafe Zaiya, you may want to be there for this one.

Zaiya Opens Cafe Zest in Midtown East, With Full Restaurant Coming Soon


Finally some big time, super duper exciting news for Midtown Lunch’ers on the East side (yes, I just typed the words super duper.)  Cafe Zaiya (41st btw. Mad+5th), winner of Best Japanese Take Out in the Midtown Lunch Readers Poll, has opened “Cafe Zest by Zaiya” in the space formerly occupied by the 47th St. Japanese Convenience Store (on 47th St. btw.  Lex+3rd.)  A slightly upscale version of Cafe Zaiya, Cafe Zest sports an almost identical line up of goods, with a nicer (albeit much smaller) dining area in the back.  Sandwiches, bento boxes, rice balls, and a full dessert bar towards the back- plus they’re selling pre-packaged goods from Nonoca, a new restaurant concept opening in August (but more on that in a bit.)

Since the convenience store closed in January, I’ve been closely monitoring the progress, wondering what would end up in the space (and worrying it would suck.)  Now that Cafe Zest has opened, I can pretty much say that we couldn’t have done any better than this.  And I have even told you the best news.  That, plus your first look inside the new Cafe Zest, after the jump…   Read more »