Second Aja Opens in the West Village, Out-Buddhas the Original

The bar. Photo: Melissa Hom

The owners of Amber, Fusha, Aquamarine (and every other color in the spectrum!) have decided that eleven restaurants aren’t enough. Last week they opened a West Village outpost of Aja, and they plan to open a second Aquamarine at 70th and Columbus in the next three months.

At Aja redux, you’ll find a Pan-Asian menu similar to that of the original (char-grilled Chilean sea bass marinated in miso sake, pan-fried Mongolian filet mignon, etc.) but with more of an emphasis on appetizers like baby back ribs. If you’re keeping track: The obligatory dining room Buddha trumps the original Aja’s six-foot-tall one by a full two feet, making it a veritable Buddhankadonk. This one was brought in from China at the cost of $50,000, plus there are 25 smaller copper Buddhas in the upstairs lounge. Add frozen green-tea margaritas (the machine will be operational soon) and it’s nirvana.

The upstairs lounge.Melissa Hom