Net Experience at Azora Dissapoints

Azora Japanese Restaurant
407 Bloomfield Ave.
Montclair, NJ
973-233-9400

Azora is the sort of Japanese place you really want to like. It may be one of the nicest dining rooms in Montclair. High backed booths along the right side of the restaurant, nicely spaced tables in the center, and a wooden lattice motif that evokes the kind of Japanese-fusion the restaurant is going for. We really wanted to like the food and we really wanted to like our experience but we were left wanting more.

We came to Azora on busy Friday night, which may have been part of the problem. Like many of the smaller places along Bloomfield Avenue in Montclair, Azora suffers from noise problems. It may be somewhat better in the high backed booths but at the tables where we sat it was terribly hard to have a conversation.

It’s a bit out of the restaurants hands, but we really wish some of these places would invest in noise dampening materials (yeah, we’re talking about you Table 8).

The first hint of trouble came with the waiter. We ordered from the fusion menu and C promptly asked about her cashew allergy.

“We don’t cook with cashews,” the waiter replied.

“But it’s on the menu, here” we said pointing to the items that listed cashews as part of the ingredients.

Blank stare.

Anyway, after being assured there were no nuts in what we ordered, C tried one of the fusion sushi dishes, which was quite good. While I opted for a tuna steak.

It took a solid 20 minutes or so for the food to arrive. Probably because the place was busy, still no one bothered to check on us and we had to ask about the food before it was brought out. A cardinal sin for any establishment.

Anyway, as feared, my late arriving Tuna was, how shall I say, a bit on the done side and not in a good way. It was OK but for what Azora charges I was looking for more than OK.

So, we’ll raise a glass of sake to Azora’s decor and hope we have a better experience the next time. If any readers out there have a better experience to report, we are all ears since we’re pretty sure that the place has to be popular for a reason.

JC

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