Mon-Thu, 6:30pm-11:30pm; Fri-Sat, 6:30pm-midnight; Sun, closed
6 at Astor Pl.
American Express, Discover, MasterCard, Visa
Jack and Grace Lamb's gorgeous East Village restaurant is still one of the most enjoyable places to enjoy sushi in the city. At many other like-minded restaurants, if you don't snag a coveted spot at the sushi counter, you're left sitting in a stark, cold room. But Jewel Bako actually feels like a jewel box, and all of the seats feel special and romantic. While the space looks luxurious and expensive, it's not impossible to have a (relatively) affordable meal here. Start by sharing the trio of tartares—blue-fin tuna, salmon, and yellowtail—which are served with housemade sweet-potato chips (they're like next-level Terra Chips). It's a big portion that will fill you up quickly, but pace yourself. Though mixing types of fish might not please a sushi purist, the $18 specialty rolls are excellent (and large!). Unagi with shrimp, golden tobiko, and avocado is creamy yet light, and the salmon with shiso, bonito flakes, and white miso isn't mangled by an overpowering miso sauce—the flavor is subtle. But it's wise to order a few pieces of sashimi à la carte, like the top-notch uni and ebi shrimp. No detail is overlooked: The meal is paced perfectly, servers are kind and attentive, and even a seemingly basic seaweed salad comes with several types of exotic seaweed and a beautiful presentation. The omakase options aren't too expensive, either: A tasting of all nine large rolls costs $42, the chef's selection of sushi and sashimi is $75, and the big tasting menu with appetizers, entrées, and dessert is $125. There are many outstanding sushi restaurants in this city, but few combine excellent fish with a warm, romantic atmosphere and reasonable prices.Note
Online reservations are for dining room only (must call to reserve seats at the sushi bar).