Between the marathon, Rebel Run, Tough Mudder, and midterms, I, uh, kinda forgot to celebrate my 21st birthday. I’m not big on birthdays, but you only turn 21 once! I was, therefore, happy when the madre and her amigo offered to take me out Saturday night.
I had just returned home from a 20 mile run through Manhattan, Brooklyn, and Queens with my friend Damion, and was certainly ready for a feast! We decided to visit Jewel Bako,a Michelin starred Japanese restaurant in the East Village.
Upon being seated, we were greeted with warming bowls of miso soup.
We decided to share a variety of items, including the sushi platter. The platter contained a variety of nigiri and a spicy otoro roll. Before ordering I had requested the scallop be left off, given my severe allergy to the mollusk. I have ended up in the ER because of that allergy and did not want a repeat experience. Unfortunately, the platter was still brought out with the scallop, a rather large oversight for a Michelin starred eatery. Other than that slight mishap, however, the fish was all very fresh and of high quality. My favorites included the piece of seared yellowtail and the sweet shrimp.
On the side we ordered a large Japanese snow crab roll. Unfortunately, the crab yielded little sweetness and lacked sufficient flavor. Standard fake crab would have, sadly, fared better.
Still hungry, we also ordered the large unagi roll with shrimp, golden tobiko, avocado, and kaiware. The innards of the roll commingled quite well, but the rice was bland and incohesive.
After our sushi I was extremely surprised when the waitress brought out a dessert topped with a candle and sung happy birthday. When the waitress had asked if I was having a glass of wine, the Madre’s amigo mentioned that it was my 21st birthday. So sweet of them to remember! I was seriously touched by the kind sentiment. Not only did she bring me dessert, but she also brought the Madre and her amigo one as well. The dessert consisted of velvety green tea ice cream sandwiched between two chocolate shortbread cookies. The plate also contained lovely glazed almonds.
Jewel Bako certainly attracts an interesting crowd. Throughout the whole meal there was a bevy of evident online dates gone wrong. Quite comical. Though the service was great and thoughtful (they even hand-grind fresh wasabi for you!), the food did not excite me. If you are looking for a romantic date spot with fresh fish, however, I would recommend it.
After dinner we went on the quest for additional dessert. First stop was Blackhound Bakery, where I grabbed a sample of apple pie and a brownie for later.
Chikalicious offers both a fancier, sit-down restaurant, and a takeout cafe. It was quite the happening place on Saturday night!
A major thank-you to the Madre and her amigo for such a lovely night!