Under: Asian,Desserts,Dinner,East Village,Japanese,Michelin 2010 Guide,Michelin 2011 Guide,My Life,seafood,Sushi
To tell you the truth, I really didn’t want to visit Jewel Bako again during my Michelin adventure. I’d visited in the past with Joe (it was one of those last minute meals we had when I helped him move into his first apartment) and neither of us were really impressed with the fish or the restaurant (in fact, I specifically remember that I thought it smelled like a cat’s litter box!) I couldn’t find my original photographs and a bunch of people told me to give it a second try, so I ended up giving the restaurant a second chance. I had to go earlier in the month because I wanted to give it a fair shot; if Jewel Bako was up against Masa, I’m sure it wouldn’t have gotten a generous rating.
My date and I were actually planning to watch a movie before going to the restaurant so we could sit at the sushi counter but then we were both running late from work and decided we could only do one thing: eat or watch a movie. Of course eating won out (I mean, when does it not?) but we couldn’t sit at the sushi counter, instead, we sat at one of the tables in their optical-illusion like room. Neither of us were in the mood for the omakase so we decided to order a la carte and started with some miso soup:
And some edamame with sea salt:
We ordered the selection of sashimi to share:
Out of the blue fin tuna, yellowtail, salmon, fluke, jumbo sweet shrimp, and scallops, my favorites were the scallops with lime zest, tuna, and jumbo sweet shrimp.
I’ve become quite the scallop fanatic and ordered the scallop roll in addition to the spicy tuna roll, the blue fin tuna roll, and the unagi roll for us to share:
The scallop makimono roll included yuzu zest, avocado, scallions, and chive oil and while I thought I would be a big fan, I thought the scallions and chive oil overpowered the delicate flavor of the scallops. The spicy tuna roll was alright – it came with yellowtail, scallions, and cucumber, and the other small rolls were nothing special (I mean, how can you mess up eel and blue fin tuna?)
For dessert, we ordered the green tea ice cream sandwiched between two chocolate shortbread cookies with chocolate sauce and chocolate covered almonds:
Probably the highlight of the meal; the chocolate shortbread cookies were just the right amount of sweetness with the green tea ice cream and chocolate covered almonds.
Overall, the meal was enjoyable and I did have a good time on my date but I just don’t understand how the restaurant is consistently on the Michelin list; the service was okay and the cuts of fish weren’t anything extremely special (also, I was a bit annoyed that the servers kept the soy sauce container and determined how much you would get). I don’t know if I’d recommend this restaurant to someone visiting from out of town but it’s definitely a neighborhood spot I’d probably order take-out from if they delivered/it wasn’t so expensive.