Jewel Bako

Address: 239 East 5th Street, New York, NY

Phone: 212-979-1012

Jewel Bako, a One Michelin Star sushi restaurant in East Village is (ex) NYC couple Jack and Grace Lamb's first venture into the restaurant business, before they started Degustation Wine and Tasting Bar next door, Jewel Bako Makimono (which has since closed down) and Jack's Oyster Bar. The couple also owns a restaurant near their home in Greenwich Connecticut call Harvest Supper, run by a former chef at Hearth. When Jewel Bako first opened a few years ago, East Village was not a place to go for good sushi. The landscape has improved since, with places such as Kyo Ya, Kajitsu, Ushiwakamaru entering the Japanese food domain. But in terms of the place to go for world class sushi in the East Village, Jewel Bako perhaps still reigns over the rest.

The secret to Jewel Bako's success, aside from good sushi chefs and intense management (I felt the intensity of the lady manager when I went there), is its ability to get fresh fish directly from a purveyor in Japan and serving the fish next day after they are caught. The restaurant is perhaps the only in NYC which serves live Lobster Sashimi? I remember watching one of Andrew Zimmerman's Bizarre foods NYC episodes a few years ago, where he went to the restaurant and tried its signature dish - live lobster sashimi.  We did not order lobster sashimi when we went there (not sure if it's still on the menu), but the sushi ala carte (Uni, Toro, Unagi, Ebi etc) and spicy yellowtail sushi rolls we had were excellent!
Sushi ala carte
Spicy Tuna Yellowtail with scallions and cucumber
Restaurant interior


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