2016-07-27 / Restaurant of the Week

Luna

Asian Bistro and Rooftop Lounge

Look up to the sky for a new adventure in rooftop dining and lounging in Astoria. Located in an unassuming, glass front office building on Steinway Street, Luna Asian Bistro and Rooftop Lounge is perched high above the street, offering truly excellent sushi and Asian cuisine accompanied by spectacular views of the Manhattan skyline. This knock-out rooftop venue is the newest and sexiest addition to Western Queens’ dynamic nightlife, and you ought to go there now to fully enjoy the balmy summer evenings on the expansive bi-level terraces.

The proud, genial owner, Leo, has many years’ experience running several successful Asian restaurants in Manhattan and Long Island, and Luna Asian Bistro puts another jewel in the crown. The modern, sleek interior is decked out with wood floors, white banquettes and outdoor wicker furniture with comfy cushions for conversation, cocktails, and dazzling dishes to dine on, from small plates of sushi to full seafood platters. Settle into Luna’s breezy space with a classic Cuba Libre, Mojito, Margarita, or Cosmo, or be adventurous and try the house special cocktails such as the Blue Pepper with Blue Curacao, or something called “Surfer on Acid” which probably requires a taxi home. The cocktails are prepared with care, then beautifully garnished and presented with pride. A carefully curated selection of traditional Japanese sakes and beer, and international wines offers your favorite libations.

We started with a beautifully presented Ocean Mix Tartar with king crabmeat, salmon, pepper, and parsley served on a refreshing slice of lime with the chef’s special sauce. Next came the Truffle salmon with supremely fresh salmon, chives, and spicy lemon sauce, served on delicate ceramic spoons ($11). Crispy wontons are one of the most popular appetizers. These crispy, tender little parcels are filled with lobster, cream cheese and herbs for a unique taste and texture. Yellow tail jalapeño melts on your tongue with a kick from the sliced peppers, in a Japanese style sauce. These little bites were bursting with flavor and almost too pretty to eat. There are dozens of sushi, sashimi, and rolls to choose among, so you can spend your evening sampling different varieties with your friends. Some examples are shrimp asparagus roll, Alaska roll, sweet potato roll, spicy, crunchy salmon, tuna, or yellowtail roll, and the dragon roll, to name just a few. Most rolls cost around $5-$6, and considering the high quality of the sushi grade fish and meats, the prices at Luna are surprisingly low, so take advantage of this fine cuisine on any budget. For the ultimate in sushi dining, you must try the sushi / sashimi platter, prepared for one or more diners. This eye-popping platter arrived with its own mini ice sculpture to keep everything cool, including 5 pieces of sashimi and 5 pieces of sushi. There was fluke, nearly transparent in its freshness, yellow tail, salmon and buttery tuna of very high quality. One of the Chef’s special rolls named “Lady Gaga” also graced the platter and is made with crunchy tempura shrimp, eel, and avocado with a spicy coconut sauce that was just outrageously delicious. This sushi / sashimi platter is a treat for the eyes, the palate, and the stomach, so bring a friend and order one for the table. Other Chef’s special rolls have catchy names such as the Angry Dragon, Spider Man, Dynamite, and Spicy Mama. Each is artfully prepared by hand, in the open at the Sushi station next to the bar. A little patience is quickly rewarded when you see your dishes presented.

If you prefer cooked entrees, Luna Asian Bistro has a great selection of teriyaki dinners, prepared with ten der, sliced ribeye steak, chicken, shrimp, salmon, tofu, or vegetables. Shrimp or vegetable Tempura makes a nice dinner as well, served with rice and soup or salad. The expert chef will prepare a whole fish, crispy style, with mango and a sweet and spicy sauce, or a flaky, pan-seared Chilean sea bass with seasonal vegetables. Sweet and sour pork is elevated with tenderloin of pork and pomegranate sauce ($14) or you can keep it light with grilled chicken or shrimp with red onion and fresh mango.

Cool down on the deck with some green tea ice cream, green tea cheese cake, or delicate crepes while you take in the views of the skyline by night. A meal at Luna Asian Bistro is memorable and you’ll want to go back while the weather is warm, though the views are great 365 nights a year.

Luna Asian Bistro and Rooftop Lounge is open weeknights from 5p.m. to 1a.m., and Saturdays and Sundays from 12:30p.m. to 1a.m. so you can enjoy a relaxing weekend lunch on the terrace and linger till the sun sets. The R and M trains’ Steinway Street stop puts you right there and Luna Asian Bistro can accommodate private parties of 100+ guests so keep them in mind for your next private or business event and wow your guests. I witnessed two birthday celebration dinners while I was there, and indeed, Luna Asian Bistro is a unique place to make any occasion special, or to make an ordinary night an occasion.

32-72 Steinway Street
Astoria | 917.832.7911

www.lunaasianbistro.com

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