O Ya is one of those “hot” restaurants in NYC right now, and they have good reason to be. Their original restaurant is in Boston, and they recently opened up a NYC location just a few months ago, bringing their unorthodox Japanese omakase menus with them. Despite the popularity and well-received reviews, it wasn’t hard for me and David to get a reservation about three weeks out – you can either book on OpenTable, or if you want a seat at the counter (which I recommend), you can call the restaurant directly.
From the outside, you probably wouldn’t guess that Jewel Bako is a restaurant, much less one that’s been Michelin starred for nine years in a row; the heavy black door looks more like the inconspicuous entrance to someone’s home. Once you step inside though, it’s a completely different story. You’re greeted by a gorgeous wooden interior – bamboo beams curve gracefully over the spacious dining area, creating a tunnel that leads to the sushi counter at the back.
Dinner at Bohemian is one of the most intriguing meals I’ve had so far in New York. Bohemian is a “secret” Japanese restaurant hidden behind a butcher shop in NoHo, and the only two legit ways to get their phone number (which isn’t publicized on their website) are to 1) get it from someone who’s been there before, or 2) email them with a self-introduction as per the instructions on their site. I love love love Japanese small plates style restaurants, so I decided to take the plunge and email them directly. Apparently “Hi! I would like to inquire about making a reservation. I have heard great things about your restaurant and would love to visit sometime” didn’t suffice; I ended up emailing them an entire paragraph about myself before getting a positive response, and a month later I was on my way to dinner there with Jane, MK, and David.