By Laura Lane
A new restaurant has opened in Woodbury that, simply stated, is exquisite. MOCA, located at 7967 Jericho Tpk., offers a variety of Asian fusion cuisine, really anything you might desire, from a spicy tuna roll to ishiyaki and even the traditional full Peking duck experience.
And don’t worry, if you are not an expert in ordering Asian fusion you can ask the friendly staff.
“We are the only Asian bistro with an American staff at the front of the house,” said MOCA General Manager Henry Lin. “We have well trained people that speak the same language as our customers and we have the product that people want.”
And MOCA (Modern Concept of Culinary Arts) also has ambiance, and that is from the first moment you walk in. If you have to wait for your table, and MOCA works very hard to not let that happen, you can cozy up at the bar to have a drink where the cushioned seats have backs — no stools at MOCA. The restaurant’s dining room is warm with wood paneling and dark hardwood flooring complimented by several booths and tables for two or for five. In the rear the chef works hard at the sushi bar, which also offers seating.
Kevin Inkles, who has years of experience, is the captain at MOCA. “It’s a great feel here and the food is incredible,” Inkles said, smiling. “Everyone who works here has years of service in Asian restaurants. We all look at this place as if it’s our restaurant, like it is our home.”
This is the third MOCA restaurant, the others located in Hewlett and Forest Hills. The owner, Johnson Chen, has been in the restaurant business for 22 years, and according to Lin, has frequented every upscale restaurant in the world.
“He took his ideas from these restaurants and did his research on the people who live in this area,” he said. “Johnson knows that they are experienced in eating seafood and sushi, and don’t care what it costs and will appreciate the décor here. This restaurant is the finished product of his lifelong dream.”
The owner of MOCA believes in creating the perfect dining experience. The music is never too loud and the lighting is just right. The colors in the dining room are earthy neutral tones, with vibrant red sashes cascading across the ceiling offering contrast.