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by Chris Teale November 13, 2017 at 10:45 am 0

A fast-casual sushi restaurant appears to be moving into Virginia Square, but details are sparse.

An application filed with Virginia ABC indicates that Snap-A-Roll will be arriving at 3811 Fairfax Drive, in the same building as a Tropical Smoothie Cafe and the now-closed Water & Wall restaurant.

The space occupied by Water & Wall is still vacant, while another first-floor retail space is listed as being for lease.

In a brief interview this morning with ARLnow.com, the person whose phone number is listed with the ABC application declined to go into details about the new restaurant, or give his name.

“We’re still in the process of getting set up, so I have no specific information to give you,” he said.

The eatery shares a name with the Williamsburg, Va.-based Snap-A-Roll. On its Facebook page, it describes itself as “a revolutionary way to enjoy fresh, healthy and affordable sushi, hibachi and Asian cuisine.”

The restaurant became embroiled in controversy last month after it closed, with disagreement over whether it was for good or for a few weeks to carry out renovations.

In announcing its closure, the company’s Facebook page published a since-deleted post criticizing management and saying that employees did not know when it would reopen.

But the man who answered the phone declined to say much on whether this Virginia Square outpost is connected to that existing restaurant.

“There are some connections, but I do not have any specific information on that,” he said.

Photo No. 3 via Google Maps

by Jennifer Currier November 17, 2015 at 1:45 pm 0

A new, highly-anticipated sushi restaurant is now open in the Colonial Village Shopping Center.

Rolls By U quietly opened on to the public on Saturday. Though the restaurant signed a lease on a location approximately a year and a half ago, the final license from the County came through last Friday.

The restaurant is the work of Latin Concepts, the same company behind Guarapo in Courthouse.

According to Faris Salim, one of the company’s partners, they were anxious to open Rolls By U as quickly as possible to give customers what they’ve been asking for.

“We want to create new thinking where people know they can come into the restaurant and create their own,” Salim said. “Arlington is one of the best places to do that. Why not give the people the power to choose what they want to eat while keeping it healthy, especially with sushi.”

The menu includes three basic items: bowls, rolls and “ritos,” the restaurant’s version of a sushi burrito. Diners can customize each of these by ordering in an assembly line fashion. They can choose proteins, veggies, extra items like quinoa or cream cheese, and sauces.

The kitchen is also completely open and visible to customers as they place their order.

For those who are more comfortable ordering off a set menu, there are specialty ritos and rolls to choose from. The rolls are from the menu of another Latin Concepts sister restaurant called Maté in Georgetown.

Salim said it was his experience working at Maté that gave him the idea for Rolls By U.

“People would always want to customize their orders because of allergies, wanting them to be vegan or gluten free,” he said. “I wanted to expand to Arlington and give it a shot, and that’s how we thought of putting a fast-casual restaurant here.”

Salim described the menu as having something for everyone, including those have allergies or prefer to eat vegan, gluten- or dairy-free. The menu items also aren’t limited to fish, as guests can choose grilled chicken, hanger steak or tofu as their protein.

While the entire menu is currently available, the restaurant is still making final preparations before holding an official grand opening within the next two weeks. Some of these include a sauce-tasting station, delivery service and a bar serving beer, wine, sake, cider and champagne.

There’s even outlets and USB ports along the walls in the dining area for the restaurant’s constantly-connected customers.

“We want people to be able to come in and out, but also feel like they can come here to relax and have a drink without having the pressure of sit down or fine dining,” Salim said.

Rolls by U is open from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. daily.

by Heather Mongilio October 20, 2015 at 6:00 pm 1,029 0

A new sushi restaurant has opened on Lee Highway in Cherrydale.

Maneki Neko Express opened six weeks ago in the spot of former Thai restaurant Thai 24 (3813 Lee Highway). The new restaurant will serve both Japanese and Thai food as part of a partnership with the former Thai 24’s owners, said Maneki co-owner KanyaThongprasert.

“Maneki Neko Express will be serving Japanese and Thai food in a cafe-like setting,” the restaurant said on its website.

The Cherrydale restaurant is the Maneki Neko’s second location. Maneki Neko first started in Falls Church about 14 years ago, Thongprasert said, adding the original location only serves Japanese food.

Business at the new restaurant has been ok in the first few weeks,Thongprasert said. Customers from the Falls Church location have followed the company to Arlington, she added.

“They love it. They love the taste,” she said.

The most popular dishes include pad thai and the restaurant’s bento box option, which allows customers to pick items from the sushi bar and the kitchen, such as a California roll and teriyaki chicken.Thongprasert has applied for a liquor license and plans to serve beer, wine and sake on and off the premise.

Maneki Neko Express offers special sushi rolls, such as a Three Amigos roll, which is a roll with tuna, salmon, yellowtail, avocado, jalapeño and spicy mayo. Customers can also choose from daily specials.

One of the specials is a Halloween roll, pumpkin tempura, eel and tobiko, and the restaurant is prepared for the upcoming holiday with ghosts, pumpkins and spiderweb decorations on its windows.

The restaurant serves lunch from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. and dinner from 4-9 p.m. Monday through Friday. On Saturday the restaurant serves lunch from noon to 2 p.m. and dinner from 4-9 p.m. and on Sunday, it is only open for dinner from 4-9 p.m.

by ARLnow.com October 15, 2015 at 9:45 am 1,788 0

Sun rays peeking through clouds on the Potomac (Flickr pool photo by John Sonderman)

Church Squatter Arrested — A man who has managed to squat in the attic of an Arlington church for three years has been arrested and charged with trespassing. An air conditioning repairman discovered the man and his makeshift living space in the attic of St. Ann’s Catholic Church, near Ballston. [NBC Washington]

New Rosslyn Sushi Restaurant Close to Opening — Rolls By U, a new sushi restaurant at 1731 Wilson Blvd in Rosslyn, is getting set to open next week, after originally hoping to open last month. The restaurant will offer burrito-sized sushi rolls in addition to regular-sized rolls. [Washington City Paper]

Fundraiser for Former Yorktown Football Player — Friends have organized an online fundraising campaign for a former Yorktown High School football player who was injured in an incident that was caught on video. Josh Bunche was attempting a flip while tailgating at a Clemson football game, but he slipped and suffered serious facial injuries. [Patch, GoFundMe]

McMenamin Responds to Sewage Plant Fence — Independent Arlington County Board candidate Mike McMenamin has issued a statement calling the $350,000 public art installation along a fence at the county’s sewage plant “wasteful.” Said McMenamin: “Extravagant projects like this help drive up taxes in Arlington County, making it more costly to own a home or to start a business.”

County Touts Fully Funded Pension — Arlington County’s employee pension fund is now 99 percent funded, thanks to prudent management. While some other communities struggle with underfunded pensions, Arlington has now been able to decrease the percentage of employee compensation going to the pension fund, from 24 percent — about $58 million — last year to 22 percent this year. [Arlington County]

Flickr pool photo by John Sonderman

by Heather Mongilio September 2, 2015 at 2:45 pm 1,394 0

Rolls By URolls By U, a new sushi restaurant coming to the Colonial Village Shopping Center on Wilson Blvd, is hoping to open its doors mid-September.

There is no target date for the new restaurant, according to one of its employees. Rolls By U announced the mid-September opening on its Facebook page on Aug. 26.

The sushi restaurant’s slogan is “where you create,” implying that it may be a make-your-own sushi concept. On social media, the restaurant says it will offer “organic, healthy, and flavorful sushi for your senses and your soul.”

Brown paper still covers the window, but construction crews could be seen inside this afternoon.

Rolls by U will be at least the fourth sushi restaurant in Rosslyn, with Kona Grill, Kanpai and Cafe Asia all nearby, along Wilson Blvd.

by Heather Mongilio June 30, 2015 at 1:45 pm 2,174 0

The Kona Grill, a sushi restaurant that combines American and Hawaiian flavors, opened its doors in Rosslyn on Monday.

The new restaurant, located at 1776 Wilson Blvd, is one of the company’s more than 30 restaurants in 19 states. But the Arlington location gave Kona Grill the ideal demographics it was looking for, said Joesph Ortega, the general manager for the Arlington location.

“It’s a growing area, young and upcoming,” he said. “If you visit our restaurant, it’s a very hip or retro feeling.”

The restaurant has an inside and outside bar, a large dining room set to seat about 250 guests and a patio. It also offers two happy hours — one from 2-7 p.m. and a reverse happy hour during the last two hours of business, where food prices are reduced.

Although the restaurant opened its doors yesterday, Ortega said it had already attracted a crowd. As of 12:30 p.m. today, there were about 20 people eating lunch.

The restaurant brings a different style of dining to Arlington, he said. The restaurant is two in one, with a full lunch and dinner menu in addition to the sushi bar.

“A lot of the other restaurants [in Arlington] are just sushi bars or one type of sushi bar,” Ortega said.

Ortega’s favorites on the menu are the pork tenderloin, which is almond crusted and served with mashed potatoes, and the picasso roll, a spicy yellowtail with avocado, a jalapeño cilantro relish and sriracha. But he also recommends that people try a little bit of everything.

“I don’t think anyone’s seen or tasted what we offer,” he said.

The restaurant plans to get involved with the Arlington community by participating in local events.

“Our goal is to be everyone’s favorite place to eat and relax with friends,” Ortega said.

by Tim Regan May 21, 2015 at 10:00 am 1,767 0

A new sushi restaurant is now open just steps away from the Ballston Metro station.

Sushi 2Go, named for its daily selection of carryout sushi, is located in the former Primo Fresh Deli space in the Metro plaza at the corner of Fairfax Drive and N. Stuart Street.

The restaurant’s menu includes nigiri, classic sushi rolls, and a range of specialty rolls. Patrons can either order freshly made sushi at the counter, or grab a pre-made roll from a to-go cooler.

To celebrate its opening, Sushi 2Go is offering reduced prices until May 30. Under the special, nigiri and sushi rolls are currently both $4, and specialty rolls cost either $6 or $8.

Owner Unsook Kim says she got the idea for the to-go concept after visiting a Wasabi franchise in New York City. After seeing how popular the franchise was, Kim decided to open her own take on the sushi-to-go concept.

“This is my own style,” Kim says. “Young people love sushi.”

Kim says that by this winter, she’ll add other Korean and Japanese specialties like bibimbap, yakisoba noodles, and teriyaki dishes to the menu.

by Ethan Rothstein March 11, 2015 at 2:30 pm 2,569 0

RA Sushi roll (photo via Facebook)RA Sushi, a Japanese restaurant chain owned by Benihana, appears on its way to move into 3001 Washington Blvd in Clarendon.

The location would be RA Sushi’s first in Virginia. The chain’s closest restaurant, in Baltimore, has a seven-page menu and offers hand rolls for $5.50 and specialty rolls from $8.50 to its king crab roll for $17. It also sells sake and sake bombs, as well as a list of cocktails, beer and wine.

The restaurant is hoping to add an outdoor cafe along Washington Blvd, but county staff have deferred their recommendation due to concerns about the width of the sidewalk.

RA Sushi would be yet another new business in the large new office building, following Citizen Burger Bar, Cherry Blow Dry Bar and Pure Barre. A Peets Coffee & Tea is under construction at the corner of Washington Blvd and N. Highland Street

We’re told that the chain has yet to sign a lease, but talks have been going on for some time.

Photo via Facebook

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