Danny’s Izakaya is now open | Herald Community Newspapers

Since the closure of Peru’s Nikkei in the darkest days of the pandemic, Oyster Bay is sorely lacking in Japanese restaurants. Now, thanks to Danny’s Izakaya, that has finally changed.

Danny’s Izakaya is a Japanese bar and restaurant at 94 South St. in Oyster Bay that opened on February 23. According to one of its co-owners, Randy Klein, he and his partners Danny and David Antin have already been blown away by the response. from the community.

“It’s been great – the city has welcomed us beautifully,” Klein said. “Our last Friday was packed. People seem to like the atmosphere and our menu. It’s just unreal.

The Antin brothers agreed that the city had rolled out the red carpet for them. “The fact that everyone feels like they know each other also makes it feel like such a community here,” David said.

This is not Klein’s or Les Antins’ first adventure in the restaurant world. For nine years, Danny and David have co-owned Danny’s Chinese Kitchen in Bellmore. They got into the business after Danny was encouraged by David to leave accounting to pursue his true passion: food.

“I asked him, ‘What makes you really happy?’ and he said he was happiest at his old high school job at a Chinese restaurant,” David said of his brother.

“So he decided to open Danny’s Chinese Kitchen, I offered to support him as a sort of silent partner, you know, and the rest is history.”

Three years ago David also left accounting to work in the restaurant business full time, and a year and a half later Klein, his neighbor and friend, joined the team. The trio now own and operate four Danny’s Chinese Kitchens in locations around Long Island. Danny’s Izakaya is their fifth and most ambitious opening, and their first foray into non-Chinese cuisine.

David discovered izakaya restaurants during his visit to Tokyo. He found it to be an experience unlike anything he had had on Long Island, he said, or anywhere in the United States, for that matter.

“I went to this izakaya place, and it was just amazing,” David said. “It’s a fun, laid back atmosphere and everyone shouted hello as soon as we walked in. That energy and friendliness is what I wanted to bring back to Long Island.”

An izakaya is traditionally an informal bar that serves small meals and drinks. It’s a relaxed place to drink after work, comparable to an Irish pub.

In order to realize their vision, Klein and the Antins knew they had to undertake major renovations. The space at Oyster Bay they purchased was a restaurant, Nikkei of Peru, but the layout didn’t fit their vision of an izakaya. So they redid the interior, with new walls, a large fresco and a new kitchen. This delayed their opening for a few months, but they were happy with how it turned out.

“It’s such a good space, so we really had to go all out,” Klein said. “We know our location is great and our food is phenomenal; now we just need to make sure our service is just as good.

Another person who is happy with the look of the interior is the restaurant’s executive chef, Charley Moi. Originally from Texas, Moi prepared a range of Asian cooking styles and studied under celebrity chefs Jean Georges and Floyd Cardoz. After specializing in Asian-style barbecue for the past few years, Moi said he was delighted to lead the kitchen at the new restaurant.

“Yeah, it’s a great opportunity, for sure,” he said, “I’m at the age where challenges aren’t really challenges anymore. I see them more as a chance to try something new.

About Walter J. Leslie

Check Also

RangeWater and Nippon Steel Kowa Real Estate Acquire 228-Unit Apartment Community in Prime Atlanta Neighborhood

The Dakota Range Water Real Estate “The Dakota is a great addition to our local …