Asian restaurant opens near BJU

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Asian restaurant opens near BJU

Sushi options include red tuna, shrimp, salmon, avocado and fried sweet tofu. Photo: Lindsay Shaleen

Nori Asian Cuisine, a newly opened restaurant at 2017 Wade Hampton Blvd, offers a diverse menu with a variety of Asian foods.

Nori opened on Sept. 4 and is still in the process of increasing publicity. Owner Lal Din Thar noted that the restaurant is handing out togo menus and advertising on Facebook and in magazines.

Nori has a dark and quiet ambiance that provides a comfortable meal setting. Dark red walls and strings of ivy add aesthetically pleasing décor.

Nori’s menu consists of a few different types of Asian food—most notably, Burmese, since Thar is from Burma, Myanmar. One of the most popular items is Burmese chowder, also called Mohhinga. The chowder consists of fish chowder noodle soup that is slow-cooked and simmered with several other ingredients. Rice vermicelli, boiled egg, crispy peas, cilantro and lime are served on the side. Thar compared the popularity of the chowder in Burma to burgers in the United States.

Additionally, the golden tofu salad and tea leaf salad are other well-known Burmese foods served at Nori. The Tea Leaf Salad is one of Nori’s signature dishes, consisting of peanuts, lentils, fried garlic, sesame seed, sunflower seed, tomato and romaine lettuce with lime tea leaf dressing.

For dessert, Nori serves mango with sticky rice that consists of sweet cooked rice with coconut milk and fresh mango.

Thar described the current menu as simple but said he hopes to eventually expand to serving more seafood dishes.

As far as appealing to a variety of tastes, Nori has Asian food for everyone. “This is a very good spot to go for Asian food [because in] one place, we have three traditional foods: Japanese, Thai and Burmese,” Thar said. Diners can enjoy everything from sushi to Thai fried rice with Nori’s variety.

The menu contains 25 sushi roll options, five salads, eight noodle and fried rice options among others.

Thar’s drive for offering sushi on his menu came from his previous 10 years of sushi experience in various restaurants. Initially, he worked in starter positions such as cleaning tables and busing food but eventually worked his way up to cooking.

Thar lived in Bangkok, Thailand, for two years and Malaysia for six. He has lived in the U.S. since 2007. During his prior restaurant experiences both abroad and in the U.S., Thar’s dream was to open a small restaurant. He finally achieved that endeavor when he opened Nori.

Thar hopes to open additional locations if possible, but for now is enjoying his current location that he said is in a nice area.

Nori is open during lunch and dinner hours Monday through Friday and during dinner on Saturday. Students can get to Nori by traveling down Wade Hampton Boulevard and turning left just before Walmart Neighborhood Market.