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.
Sometimes when I really like a place the first time I try it, I get this intense craving to go back right away. This is how I ended up going to Yuji Ramen twice in the span of three days.
Originally a Smorgasburg vendor, Yuji Ramen recently acquired a permanent location on the second floor of the Whole Foods on Bowery. It’s a modest looking joint, with counter seating surrounding an open kitchen where you can see Chef Yuji and the other chefs at work making noodles.