MOCAD’s Super Happy Sushi Offers Simple Yet Fun Food

Corner cafe and bar good spot for fresh, quick bite for museum-goers and hungry Midtown visitors alike


Published:

As a genre that questions the very notion of taste, contemporary art can be overwhelming. So at MOCAD’s Café 78, a food as simple as sushi is most welcome. 

Launched as a pop-up in August 2015, Super Happy Sushi offers a fresh, quick bite for museum-goers and hungry Midtown visitors alike. The place is owned and operated by the Detroit Optimist Society — the restaurant group behind Detroit hot spots such as Wright & Co., Sugar House, and the Peterboro.

Co-owners Dave Kwiatkowski and Marc Djozlija recruited former Townhouse sushi chef Rob Lee for the project, who has filled out the food menu with typical sushi-joint staples like edamame, miso soup, tuna sashimi, and the familiar California roll. 

To be sure, MOCAD’s humble corner café and bar isn’t reaching to Jiro Dreams of Sushi heights, but there is an emphasis on covering the basics, and it shows. The nigiri is melt-in-your-mouth fresh, the rice is subtly seasoned, and the presentation is casual and unassuming. That said, the small menu is not without a few creative, pleasant surprises.

Alongside satisfying traditional rolls (salmon, eel, and avocado, etc.) the menu also offers a flavorful yellowtail sashimi with honeydew, sea salt, serrano pepper, cilantro, and ponzu. There’s also the “All That and a Bag of Chips” Roll, featuring avocado, yamagobo, masago, mango, chili, and a sprinkling of Better Made Potato chips — an entertaining item that fits right in with the dining concept’s tagline: “Sushi doesn’t have to be serious.”

The food-as-fun philosophy extends to the restaurant’s drink menu, which includes “contemporary cocktails” like the Shiso Fancy Drink  — a refreshing gin and ginger concoction garnished with shiso leaf — and the Hidden Fortress, a sweet, Arrack-based drink with hibiscus honey syrup. 

As with the sushi menu, a respect for simplicity still shines through with classic cocktails including a Manhattan, Sidecar, and Moscow Mule. Beer, cider, wine, and sake round out the beverage selections, providing pleasant accompaniment for those post-MOCAD critiques. (Visitors should know, however, that Super Happy Sushi often remains open after the museum has closed.)

On weekends, museum visitors can also tour an imaginative sushi-inspired brunch menu featuring items like the “Waffle!” with grilled eel, the Minoru Fried Rice with bacon, and the Benedict Nigiri with tamago, crab, and hollandaise. 

Regardless of mealtime, this latest installation from the Detroit Optimist Society proves to be as delightful and satisfying as its super fun name. 


4454 Woodward Ave., Detroit; 313-784-9636. L & D Wed.-Sat. Br. Sat. and Sun.
Edit Module
Edit Module

Hour Detroit Magazine

Edit ModuleShow Tags

Archive »Related Content

This Jefferson-Chalmers Café Combines Cool Vibes With a Cryptic Name

Coffee and (______) is a small-town social center in the big city

It's Game On for Detroit's 'Bar Arcade' Scene

M-Brew, Pop + Offworld, and Ready Player One pair microbrews with retro video games

How One of Detroit's Legendary Steakhouses Almost Didn't Happen

Even a catastrophic fire couldn't stop Capers

Elevate Your Holiday Recipes With These Six Spices

From the classic to the unconventional

Sanders' Flagship Store Gets a Sweet Update

The Clinton Township candy shop boasts two chocolate fountains
Edit Module
Edit ModuleShow Tags

Most Popular

  1. Why Abdul El-Sayed's Run for Governor Is for Real
    Can a political rookie from Michigan become America's first Muslim governor?
  2. Female Entrepreneurs Are Staking Their Claim in Detroit
    These three women-owned businesses are unstacking the deck
  3. Michigan’s Craft Distilleries Are Setting Their Sights on Bourbon
    Proof that the best things require patience
  4. Inside the Resurrected Takoi
    The restaurant has survived arson and controversy to claim a top spot in Detroit's culinary scene
  5. The Era of Autonomous Vehicles May Be Here Sooner than Expected
    What does that mean for Detroit's legacy automakers?
  6. Introducing the Nordin Brothers: The Duo Behind the Detroit Design Center
    You may not know their names, but chances are, you've seen their art
  7. The Faces of Michigan Wine: Josh Morgan
    To say that 2017 was a pivotal year for Josh Morgan would be putting it mildly.
  8. Meet the Makers: Pingree Detroit
    The brand is employing veterans to craft upcycled leather totes and journals
  9. It's Game On for Detroit's 'Bar Arcade' Scene
    M-Brew, Pop + Offworld, and Ready Player One pair microbrews with retro video games
  10. What You Need to Know About Oil and Gas Drilling in the Suburbs
    Energy companies are staking out new territory in metro Detroit