An elegant new omakase restaurant is currently being developed for the Lower East Side.
Gugu Sushi is a brand new sushi concept from owner Stephen Young. Young was one of the principals behind Gugu Room, a popular Filipino-Japanese izakaya and fusion restaurant established at 143 Orchard Street. Inspired by the romance between famed Filipino writer Jose Rizal and a samurai’s daughter, Gugu Room earned critical acclaim for its unique culinary blend and romantic atmosphere. Helmed by chefs Aris Tuazon and Markee Manaloto, Gugu Room billed itself as “New York’s first Filipino-Japanese Izakaya” and introduced audiences to a brand new take on fusion cuisine.
Now, the creative restaurateur behind Gugu Room has acquired the lease for a new concept at 87 Ludlow Street, where he intends to debut his newest project, Gugu Sushi. The space was formerly home to the popular bar and music venue Leftfield, which sadly closed in 2017. The location is relatively spacious and is expected to be able to seat a total of 76 guests inside, and will offer seating on both ground floor and the basement, which is expected to be the more intimate experience.
Envisioned as a sushi/omakase concept, Gugu Sushi will serve a diverse array of upscale dishes with a special focus on fish. Under the sample menu’s “Weekly Features” section, notable dishes include Miyazaki A5 wagyu beef, lobster tacos, wagyu & foie gras gyoza, crispy duck salad, grilled venison chops, and chili shoyu ramen. Gugu will also serve sushi features like bluefin tuna tartare, and crispy lobster maki rolls, as well as a daily selection of market-priced fresh fish. The restaurant will additionally offer a wide selection of sashimi and uramaki dishes, prepared with only the freshest caught fish, and delightful desserts like the matcha-swirled cheesecake and the “Gugu Sundae” with vanilla and chocolate ice cream, dulce caramel, chocolate sauce, and whipped cream.
Gugu Sushi is also expected to have an especially strong beverage program, and will offer a plethora of expertly crafted Japanese-inspired cocktails like the Japanese whiskey sour, the “debu saru” with Haku, Godiva, Baileys and Velvet Falernum, and the Violet Reign with Empress Gin, St. Germain, Luxardo, and lemon juice. Gugu Sushi will also offer an exclusive collection of imported sake, plenty of beer on draft, and over 30 different red and white wines, including an impressive champagne collection.
Before Young is ready to launch Gugu Sushi though, he must first acquire the necessary liquor licensing from the SLA. He is currently getting ready to meet with the board later this month, and is proposing operating hours of 5:00 PM – 11:00 PM from Tuesday through Thursday, 5:00 PM – 1:00 AM on Friday and Saturday, 5:00 PM – 10:00 PM on Sunday, and will be closed on Mondays. At this moment, Young is still very early into development and has not yet launched Gugu Sushi’s social media pages, so you will just need to keep your ears to the ground for more information as the story breaks.