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 Edit ModuleShow Tags

Archive »Related Content

Meet the Detroit Startup Churning Out ‘Adult’ Cotton Candy

Spun Sugar puts spiked and sophisticated spins on the childhood favorite

Fountain Detroit Opens a Summer Barbecue Hotspot

The Campus Martius Park destination offers a beachside experience

Quality Cuisine Meets Karaoke at this Madison Heights Favorite

168 KTV Bistro brings serious dining and Asian pop-culture to Detroit

The Vegan 'Ice Cream' Even Non-Vegans Will Love

Allergy conscious and delicious, The Ice Cream Plant is quickly growing fans in metro Detroit

The Detroit Hot Spot With Dual Personalities

Part restaurant, part night club, we explore the many facets of Sweet Soul Bistro
Edit Module
Edit ModuleShow Tags

Most Popular

  1. This Family-Owned Butcher Shop Serves Detroit’s Top Restaurants
    Ferndale’s Farm Field Table supplies grass-fed beef that’s a cut above competitors
  2. Review: An Inside Look at the Newly Restored Detroit Club
    The once elusive location returns with an exquisite menu and opulent interior
  3. Manchester United, Liverpool F.C. to Face Off in Ann Arbor
    U-M will host the International Championship Cup match in July
  4. 50 Years Later: A Look Back at the Tigers’ 1968 World Series Win
    The underdog team staged a mighty comeback during the historic season
  5. Cocktail Recipe: Aquavit Gimlet
    Long Road Distillers recommends a twist on the classic
  6. Outdoor Entertaining: Put the ‘Great’ in Your Party on the Lake
    Sophisticated recipes, guides, and tips for a nautical brunch
  7. Meet the Detroit Startup Churning Out ‘Adult’ Cotton Candy
    Spun Sugar puts spiked and sophisticated spins on the childhood favorite
  8. Could These Minimalist Pieces Be the Future of Furniture?
    Floyd Detroit is crafting beds, tables, and desks that are meant to last
  9. Your Biggest Questions About Sunscreen, Answered by a Pro
    From how often to apply to the ingredients that make it work, a local dermatologist tells all
  10. Everything You Need to Know About Aquavit
    Michigan distillers get hygge with a new trend’s distinct Scandinavian accent