Bad Habits, the newest addition to Broadway in Astoria, is more than just a place to grab a bite, with a Latin sushi menu and original artwork that tells a different story on each wall.
With fun names like Nueva Yol and El Chapiadora on their menu, along with original artwork by New York-based artist Andrew Thiele, every corner of the venue is meant to be Instagrammable. The owners want the food and décor of Bad Habits to be so unique that a photo or video of the venue is synonymous with the restaurant — without even having to mention the name.
“We wanted to be able to say the name without having to say it,” said Alex Roldan, one of the restaurant owners. “Every corner of the place is covered with a decal or a special item. We’re not even finished yet. Everywhere you go, there isn’t one spot that, if you take a picture, you won’t know exactly where you are.”
Roldan is one of several owners, including international artist, DJ Camilo, which comprise the Blend Group. The group also owns several other Astoria eateries, such as Slice and Blend Astoria on 30th Avenue, along with a few others scattered throughout NYC.
The group has worked well together combining their knowledge of dining, nightlife and design. Bad Habits stands out as passersby can’t help but notice the bright colors and beautiful artwork through the venue’s tall glass doors.
The restaurant has a wall with kings and queens, a love-themed wall, even a gun fight happening from one panel to the other, along with music videos playing on their flat-screen TVs. Flowers and chandeliers also accent the space.
“The artist is amazing,” Roldan said. “Every wall has a little story.”
And while the venue itself is certainly pleasing to the eye, even more satisfying is their Latin sushi menu. The group partnered up with a company in Miami, Florida, called Tiesto Café, which is where Bad Habits’ food and drink menu were mostly exported from.
Some of the names of the rolls and entrees were also kept the same, and the group had fun coming up with some of their own.
“We take Latin food and prepare it as sushi,” Roldan said. “We’ll take typical Latin dishes and roll them, so we’re like a fusion.”
One of their most popular rolls lately is the Nueva Yol, made with shrimp tempura, cream cheese, maduro, crab meat, avocado and tobiko with sriracha aioli — a must-try.
In addition to their delicious rolls, they have plates and appetizers like their El Indeciso Picadera, which has a mix of tasty samples of hangar steak, shrimp, chicharron, Dominican salami, tostones and yuca.
So far the new venue has garnered a lot of attention and notable compliments on their food and vibe. Roldan explained that those who stop by should expect a great experience, each and every time.
“We don’t say that you come into a restaurant, really what we try to do is immerse you in an experience,” Roldan said. “From our menu to our drink menu and service, we always try to make sure that my manager or the server is touching every table every 15 minutes. One hundred percent service — that’s what we try to do. Great food, great vibe, great time.”