Friday, June 26, 2015

Yo! Sushi discounts in Paramus, big meal at Lotus Cafe in Hackensack

At Yo! Sushi in Paramus, the Spicy Tuna Hand Roll is wrapped in soy paper. On Mondays, this item is reduced to $3.50 from $4.50.

Three of the four pieces in a Yo! Sushi Spicy Tuna Roll, with scallion, sesame and chili sauce, reduced to $3.50 from $4.


Yo! Sushi, which says it brings a "taste of Tokyo" to North Jersey, is most affordable on Mondays, when dozens of dishes are discounted.

The casual, conveyor-belt restaurant in Westfield Garden State Plaza, the state's biggest mall, calls the promotion "Blue Mondays."

I'm not sure that's the right name, but you can't blame something lost in the translation, because Yo! Sushi is based in England, not Japan. 

Are you supposed to feel "blue" after eating there on Mondays? 

Actually, the reference is to the small, round dishes, rimmed in blue, that the discounted food comes in.

On Mondays, all the dishes on the conveyor belt are blue, and priced at $3.50 each.

The California Hand Roll includes crab salad, avocado and sesame seeds. It's $3.50 on Mondays, $4 the rest of the time.

Filling lunch of four plates

This past Monday, I met two Japanese friends for lunch at Yo! Sushi, and we ordered a total of nine plates at $3.50 each.

Hot or cold green tea and fountain drinks, with unlimited refills, were $2.75 each.

I had four blue dishes: 

Two hand rolls and a sushi roll, all of which had rice and were very filling; and a Cucumber Sunumono Salad with mixed seaweed in sweet rice vinegar ($3.50, reduced from $4).

So, I spent $16.75 on lunch before tax and tip. That's a lot for a lunch with a few ounces of raw fish, and I probably would have been happy and satisfied with three plates.

When we asked for the check, a server miscounted the empty dishes on the table and brought us a bill for 10, but we corrected him, and got an adjustment.

The place mat at Yo! Sushi in Paramus on Mondays.

Seating is at a sushi bar or in booths.

A conveyor belt is supplemented by table service, if you press a button, which triggers an announcement in Japanese that your table needs attention.

There was no wait for a booth this past Monday.


Yo! Sushi in Westfield Garden State Plaza, Paramus, is near Macy's and the indoor carousel. 

Open Mondays to Saturdays from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m., and on Sundays to 8 p.m. Dishes are priced from $3 to $7.

Prawns with Snow Peas at Lotus Cafe in Hackensack.

Parched and starving

After sitting in a hot sun for a couple of hours, four of us arrived at Lotus Cafe in Hackensack parched, starving and without a reservation.

Even though this was Wednesday before 8 p.m., the popular BYO was packed, and we had to wait for a table.

My son said he was famished, having not eaten all day as he prepared for his high school graduation.

I had my heart set on a celebratory meal, such as Lotus Cafe's price-fixed, six-course dinner for four ($69), but my son wanted beef, shrimp and soft-shell crabs, and they weren't on that menu. 

So, I ordered three Wonton Soups ($2 each), an appetizer of Calamari with Salt & Pepper ($8.95), Prawns with Snow Peas ($16.95), Beef with Mustard Greens and Chili ($14.95), a special of Soft-Shell Crabs in Ginger Scallion Sauce ($22.95) and Chinese Broccoli with Fresh Garlic ($9.95).

Two of us had brown rice.

Everything was delicious with the can of Guinness Stout I sipped, but we hardly touched the broccoli, and took most of it home.

Calamari with Salt & Pepper is filled with delicious slices of fresh garlic and a few hot peppers.

A Soft-Shell Crab special in a Ginger Scallion Sauce was cut into small pieces that were easy to eat with chopsticks.

Brown rice is available at no extra charge.


Lotus Cafe, 450 Hackensack Ave., Hackensack (in the Home Depot Shopping Center).

Open 7 days, BYO, free parking in large lot. Free delivery within 3 miles and with a minimum of $12.

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