57 Great Jones St
New York, NY 10012
BOHEMIAN does not have a website, but here’s Yelp
Truly, it pains me to write this post. PAINS! My dear cousin Amy introduced me to this lovely little eatery six, maybe seven years ago. Long before it was written up by critics, bloggers, long before they had a yelp site. You could google it, and find nothing, not even a phone number. They were quite the hidden gem back then. Since then, I’ve consistently visited a couple of times a year, and they have NEVER disappointed me. In fact, I have always left absolutely thrilled, until this last visit that is. And I wouldn’t even say I was disappointed, but I didn’t walk out stuffed beyond recognition, rubbing my belly, and planning my next visit. I’ve considered visiting again before writing, but didn’t know if that was more or less fair. So decided to just put it all out there, and let you be the judge.
Arrival and entry is always “fun”. You press a little intercom button at the front of the door, and wait for someone to open, and stand at the doorway policing entrance. They ensure you truly do have a reservation at that designated time, and should your seats be available, allow entrance. If your seats are not available yet, guess what? You’re waiting OUTSIDE. It is fine when the weather is nice, but we’ve visited and had to wait at the brink of winter. It is much less palatable then. This “entry game” is a small price to pay for really delicious food though.
The best seats at BOHEMIAN are undeniably the bar seats. Beside the bar, the remainder of the room reminds me of a fancy coffee shop. The seats are super low and large, the kind you want to curl up in it, while sipping a hot beverage and chatting with friends, or reading a book. While fantastically relaxing, and pretty darn cool, it’s not exactly conducive to comfortable EATING. Some of the tables are even coffee table height, even less conducive for eating. The bar seats on the other hand, are VERY comfortable for bar stools. They are heavily cushioned stools, with a low back. You also get to watch the mastery of the mixologist behind the bar. They are happy to recommend drinks, explain differences, the selection of fancy ice, educate you on the whys of combination, really fun time. Bar seats, the absolute best choice for parties of two or fewer. If you have more than 2 people, you’re on your own.
Finally, we get to the food. Bohemian is NOT a sushi-ya, but usually, they have a few sashimi options and a sashimi don (sashimi rice bowl) with amazingly fresh fish, the rest of the menu is more contemporary Japanese, or Japanese American fusion-esque. The star of their show is the beautiful cuts of washu beef from the connecting butcher shop specializing in prime cuts of Japanese beef. Bohemian does have a tasting course, but it doesn’t highlight what they do best, their sashimi and the amazing beef. It’s the equivalent of getting the tasting from Degustation, don’t do it, à la carte is better!
What we ordered tonight:
- Ice Bucket of Oysters – The oysters at Bohemian is always good, but never great. If my memory serves me correctly, all the times we’ve ever visited, they had both east and west coast oysters ONE time, but all other times only one kind of east coast. While we definitely prefer west coast oysters, we never turn down the opportunity to have oysters. We had a dozen of these Maine Oysters. Not bad, but not good. Their apple vinaigrette is especially complimentary though.
- Washu-Beef Short Rib Sashimi – We used to get both this and the and the washu-beef tartare, but this one is MUCH better. The daikon pickles are amazing, as is the soy marinated thinly sliced garlic. Just a tiny piece or two of garlic roll in your short-rib, dipped in a tiny bit of soy, and you are in heaven. Chase it with a daikon picken, and you are now in cloud nine of heaven. If there is such a place. I can probably have an entire meal of just this dish, that is how wonderful it is.
- Sashimi Platter – As you know, we are sushi fanatics. We certainly couldn’t get an order to share, we each had our own! Clockwise from upper right hand corner:
- Blue Fin Tuna – Upon entry, this was very good, once consumed though, it left us with that really funky metallic aftertaste. I would not have ordered a second round.
- KAMPACHI (Amberjack) – This one was good, but so cold, so frozen that I felt a need to let it sit and thaw. After it thawed it was delicious, the super amazing crunch and gumminess that KAMPACHIs are known for.
- CHUTORO (medium fatty Tuna) – Thank goodness this one was great. Did not need thawing, did not have any funky aftertaste, just great.
I have never been anything but thrilled with their sashimi plates, today was the first. Two out amazing out of three is not horrendous though.
- Washu-Beef Ribeye Steak – Think Rib-eye steaks are fatty? Think Washu-Beef is fatty? Fatty over fatty equals melts in your mouth FATabulousness!!! They really do have amazing meat. It’s paired with twice roasted potatoes that boyfriend absolutely loves. I enjoy it, but I’m more the meat, and less the potato girl. More the sushi and less the rice girl. More the alcohol and less the ice girl. Get the picture? Ha! My only complaint about this deliciously greatness is it was overcooked. I like my meat rare, blue even, but this was medium rare. I provide very exact instructions of how I warm/cooked I want my meat, leaving no room for interpretation. If it’s an open flame grill, and it’s a one inch thick cut, no more than one minute on each side. If it’s a pan surface, and it’s one inch thick, no more than 45 seconds on each side. Yes, both are based on chilled meats, not room temperature, not fresh out of fridge. Yes, I’m very “exact”. Still delicious, and certainly not overcooked to the point of sending it back, so I take this as a win.
This particular “less than stellar meal” does not deter us, we are still huge Bohemian fans, we will be back soon. If this rating was for regular restaurants, I would rate it a solid 9 out of 10. Given my rating system is all sushi/fish related, I’m not going do a rating for this. In terms of overall costs, instead here portions of their menu tonight for you to gage your costs. To think of it, I need to remove ratings for SAKAGURA too, that was more a sake bar and less a sushi-ya.