Home Essex CountyCaldwell Sushi Spot Grande Buddha Izakaya Opens in North Caldwell

Sushi Spot Grande Buddha Izakaya Opens in North Caldwell

by Samantha Bonizzi
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Local sushi connoisseurs are likely familiar with Umai, a premium omakase spot in Verona. It’s become a staple for its high-quality fish and Manhattan-grade experience. Owner Allen Perchonok is at it again with his latest restaurant, Grande Buddha Izakaya, located at 11 Bloomfield Avenue. This restaurant brings patrons all the fresh flavors they love about Umai, combining an elevated ambiance, an expanded menu of hot dishes, and a cocktail list. Read on to get all of the details on Grande Buddha Izakaya in North Caldwell, New Jersey.

samantha b photo credit Sushi Spot Grande Buddha Izakaya

About The Restaurant

Owner Allen Perchonok saw immediate success with Umai and quickly outgrew the space. His idea for a second location was to focus on an expanded menu of rolls and hot foods while reserving Umai exclusively for an omakase experience. Plus, while Umai is BYOB, he wanted a location with a full bar that could serve the nightlife scene. Allen told The Montclair Girl, “The whole idea for Grande Buddha was to execute a vibe with great food, beautiful ambiance, and delicious cocktails. I curated it all, from the food on your plate to the cocktail glasses and everything in between.”

samantha b photo credit Sushi Spot Grande Buddha Izakaya

The restaurant features a large seating area with tables and booths, a wraparound omakase counter, a traditional bar area for drinks, and an enclosed porch. It’s a great place to host a birthday or special occasion dinner, and Allen has plans to bring in LED signs with flares for birthday parties soon. Grande Buddha also has a bottle-keep program, which replicates a service at many bars in Japan, allowing regulars to store bottles of sake and shochu in a locker. Check Grande Buddha’s website for details and pricing.

Read More: Must-Visit Rooftop + Outdoor Bars in the Montclair Area

The Menu

Like at sister restaurant Umai, the fish is flown in daily from Japan for the freshest quality experience. There are two options for omakase (chef’s selection): the 12-piece (priced at $80) and the 18-piece (priced at $150). Pieces are served individually at the counter or on a full plate at a table. Each piece is carefully crafted by the sushi chefs and topped with ingredients that bring out the flavor profiles of the sushi. Diners should not dunk in soy sauce to preserve these flavors.

samantha b photo credit Sushi Spot Grande Buddha Izakaya



In addition to cold appetizers, salads, chef special rolls, and a la carte pieces of nigiri and sashimi, Grande Buddha also serves a few hot items like short ribs and other meat dishes, which have been a hit with diners. Don’t sleep on the caviar dip if you’re with a group: it’s an onion and chive dip topped with caviar and paired with homemade potato chips (it’s steep at $75 but worth it for a special occasion). The restaurants will also add bao buns and crispy rice to the menu in the coming months.

The cocktail menu is fun and inventive, with standouts including spicy sake and lychee martinis, a shiso fancy mule, a variety of highballs, and a shot that pairs vodka with caviar. There’s also a list of wine (including two without alcohol), sake, and beer.

Additional Details 

Grande Buddha is open Tuesday through Thursday from 12PM to 3PM and 5PM to 12AM; Friday from 12PM to 3PM and 5PM to 2AM; and Saturday and Sunday from 5PM to 9:30PM. The restaurant is closed on Mondays, but available for lunch and dinner service all other weekdays with a new lunch special at $45 for a build-your-own Grande Buddha Box. The restaurant also hosts Ladies’ Night every Thursday with drink and food specials.

See More: The Best Shrimp Dishes in Hoboken

Don’t expect this to be the last from Allen — he’s planning to open Grande Buddha 2.0 in Newark next.

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