Jewel Bako has one of the coolest dining rooms in the city. The rounded room with mirrors, gold plating and semicircular arch designs really transports you to a new world. It feels like you are on vacation or in another country, and I love that feeling. The staff is very respectful, well-mannered and precise like you experience at a lot of sushi restaurants. Jewel Bako’s prices aren’t too steep compared to other sushi spots, and they have an incredibly reasonable Omakase for $65 compared with the likes of Sushi Yasuda, Sushi Nakazawa, Brushstroke, Sushi of Gari, etc. whose prices stretch into the “hundos.”
Tuna Rice Cake
The complimentary tuna rice cake served at the beginning of the meal might have been my favorite piece of the night. The tuna is so fresh here, and I wish you could order a whole tray of these. The Trio of Tartares is quite a number and served with sweet potato chips. It’s a pretty big portion for two people and there is one cylinder each of blue fin tuna, salmon and yellowtail concoctions mixed with different flavors and ingredients such as shishito peppers. The yellowtail was my favorite, and they give you these cute wooden spoons to use to plate and construct your chip. This is a great starter and kind of one of those things you just feel temped to order.
If you forgo the omakase option, I recommend the sashimi entree which is only $38 and served with blue fine tuna, scottish salmon, yellowtail, isaki, fluke and jumbo sweet shrimp. It’s about 14 or so thick, fresh pieces. This is the winner. You can split it with a friend and order a roll to mix it up and add some rice in there. However, the Japanese Snow Crab with Avocado roll was pretty dry and not even worth finishing. The Red Snapper with Shiso sounds much better. The sashimi might be the way to go here because the fish is what you are after anyways.
Jewel Bako is a very chic and cool experience. It’s not pretentious and you can happily sit at the sushi bar comfortably and enjoy yourself solo. The tables are pretty close, so I wouldn’t recommend this for a first date unless you want someone eavesdropping on your conversation. Save it for post 3 dates or go with a friend. Reservations are super easy too, so when you find yourself not getting into some other fancy sushi restaurants, just adopt Jewel Bako.