It should be clear by now how much love we have for the Chang family–or better known as the “Chang Gang”–but we’re not their only high-ranking fans. After the overwhelming success of ITAMAE, their ode to Peruvian/Japanese fusion cuisine, Valerie and Nando Chang made their father (“Papa Chang”) proud by snagging a James Beard nod for the Rising Star Chef of the Year. And rightfully so.
The family’s roots are tied to food, and this almost hereditary understanding of flavor and passion for connecting with people over cooking has been passed on as seamlessly from generation to generation as it has from concept to concept. While ITAMAE fits perfectly within St. Roch Market‘s sleek, light-filled interiors, their follow up outpost, B-Side B-Side by ITAMAE compliments the spunky, industrial stylings that 1-800-Lucky is known for.
B-Side is a perfect representation of the Chang family. It’s hard not to notice the impeccable sushi techniques and distinct understanding of traditional flavors perfectly blended with their love for all things music and travel. The concept’s very name comes from the family’s serious addiction to music, a wordplay on the funkier side of a record. Chef Nando Chang himself being a thriving recording artist on the side. Meanwhile, true crate diggers will find the cheeky references to beloved Tokyo record bars and ramen shops on the menu just as exciting as the menu itself.
Fans of ITAMAE will be happy to find some favorite menu items at B-Side Sushi, like their vegan roll (my personal favorite) and the Lost in Translation roll. But it’s the venture into new, more Japanese-focused territory that should get you excited. Nikkei is the name of the game here, and their Nikkei sashimi with octopus is out of this world. Use the saltine crackers for a truly authentic experience.
The Kikanbo roll, inspired by their favorite ramen shop in Tokyo by the same name, is not for the faint of heart with its numbing spice and devil level miso. The 33 1/3, named after a popular Tokyo vinyl bar and the speed of an LP, hints at their Peruvian roots with an acevichado mayo that’ll blow your mind. Both of these rolls are exclusive to B-Side Sushi and can’t be missed. Open just a week ago, they’re already laying down the groundwork for the future with brand new items, out-of-this-world rotating specials, and will be launching an expanded menu in the weeks to come.
Just like 1-800-Lucky isn’t just a food hall, it’s a love letter to all things Asian cuisine, B-side Sushi isn’t just a sushi bar. Their flavor pairings and creativity give hints of who the Chang Gang is as a family, where they’ve been and what places they want to explore. The pride that Chef Nando Chang feels for his father’s work is folded into every roll, and to him, this is where they continue the road his father paved before them. After all, the legacy in the sushi speaks for itself.
Photos by another Chang member we love, FujiFilmGirl.