May 6, 2015

I ❤ NY: 16 Course Omakase at Jewel Bako


      My boyfriend surprised me last weekend by taking me to Jewel Bako for an amazing omakase meal in celebration of my birthday. Sushi is my absolute favorite type of food, and it's my mission to try every notable sushi establishment here in NYC. I had an amazing meal and more importantly I have another sushi restaurant to add to my list of top sushi establishments in NYC. We'll definitely be back for another round (or two, or three...) Click through for pictures of my entire omakase meal and more!

Jewel Bako
239 E. 5TH STREET  •  NEW YORK, NY 10003

One of the two "jewel box" dining areas


Jewel Bako freshly grounds wasabi throughout the night


one of Jewel Bako's special rolls


Chef Yoshi (the main sushi chef and our omakase server) torching fish

Review

      The atmosphere in Jewel Bako was spectacular. My boyfriend mentioned to me that one of the reasons why he chose Jewel Bako over other comparable sushi establishments is because of the rave reviews about the service here. We've had our share of cranky head sushi chefs that are prone to yelling and throwing "tantrums", so my boyfriend definitely wanted to avoid that for my birthday dinner. Chef Yoshi (Yoshi-san as everyone called him), was super cheerful, animated, and never had anything but a smile on his face when he was serving sushi (as you can probably tell by his smirk in the photo above). We sat at the sushi bar, but keep in mind that this means you can only order the omakase meal or the chef's tasting menu. You may order additional items after the omakase meal is over, but you have to order one of the two omakase meals if you're sitting at the sushi bar. To make a reservation at the sushi bar, you must call Jewel Bako. They don't take reservations at the sushi bar over the internet. As for the sushi here, it was amazing and the quality was remarkable. It's not traditional Edo style sushi (which is strictly fish and rice only), but instead a more modern take on sushi with garnish pairings. I had the best chutoro (medium fatty tuna) of my life here! I can definitely see why Jewel Bako received a Michelin star.

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Omakase Courses
Sushi and Sashimi Omakase (16 pieces including miso soup) - $85
Red snapper with cherry blossom reduction garnished with sea grapes.


seared Maguro (leanest part of the tuna)


King salmon with the scales flame torched


Yellowtail belly


Japanese snapper


Rock fish


chutoro (medium fatty tuna)


otoro (fatty tuna)


spicy tuna shooter (spicy tuna over bed of rice topped with scallions, soy mousse, seaweed flakes and wasabi). Mix to eat.


minced Jack mackerel with ginger and shiso (mint) leaf.

tako (octopus) with a pinch of matcha salt


Abalone & scallop


Uni (sea urchin)


torched Japanese barracuda


Anago (salt-water eel)

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Concluding Remarks

     I highly recommend Jewel Bako. After this experience, it's one of my top three sushi establishments in the city. The price point is more expensive than Sushi Yasaka, but more affordable than Sushi Yasuda. I'll definitely be back for more sushi!

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