Feb 27, 2014
MoCA Asian Bistro in Woodbury has been drawing crowds since its opening two months ago.
Originally published in The New York Times
MoCA Asian Bistro in Woodbury has been drawing crowds since its opening two months ago. When I called two days ahead for a Friday or Saturday reservation, I was told that none were available, no matter how early or late. I settled for a Saturday night reservation 10 days in the future and was given a choice of 6 or 6:30 p.m.
Why the popularity? For one thing, MoCA — which stands for Modern Concept of Culinary Arts — is in the Woodbury Village Shopping Center, which, with its four other restaurants, is a dining destination in the area. MoCA, in the former home of Nisen Sushi, has lower prices and an even more impressive décor.
Nisen Sushi was attractive, but MoCA is stunning. Diners first see a gorgeous marble bar and an adjacent lounge area with a half-dozen small, round tables surrounded by dark brown leather chairs and banquettes. The dining room is pure eye candy, with yards of diaphanous burgundy-colored cloth draped from the ceiling and a white stone wall interrupted by niches covered with backlighted, decorative grates. Another wall holds five imposing brown-and-white photographs of vegetables with a large, U-shaped leather booth beneath each picture. Those booths are separated by tall bamboo dividers.