Over the weekend, we had a really great meal at Jewel Bako, which for $98 a person (unfortunately a relative value for high quality sushi/sashimi in NYC) we received:
1. a plate of fresh sashimi (not a huge highlight of the meal - except for the sweet shrimp)
2. an appetizer plate with four components: seaweed salad, potato w/ dashi stock, seared scallop with miso, and seared salmon skin salad
3. choice of scorpionfish or salmon (I got one, my fiance the other, both tasty)
4. Here comes the hard part: the sushi. The flavors were great, with your standard toro, eelmackerel, etc....but some really great flavor combinations, most notably a chopped mackerel wrapped in shiso leaf.
The rice was sub par for the caliber of the rest of the food...Its consistency was much more like your average table rice vs. sushi rice I would expect from such an otherwise great experience. Having been to Japan, I can echo the sentiments of many other chowhounds that the sushi rice can be just as important as the fish itself. I would hope it was an off batch? but its texture and consistency would have ruined the meal had the fish itself not been so fresh and the flavor combinations spot on. It was nothing like what I've come to expect from places like Yasuda, Ushiwakamaru, Gari, and the like, or even less famous sushi joints like Shumi (Somerville, NJ)
The dessert included was also sublime with a play on an ice cream sandwich with green tea ice cream and decadent chocolate.
I look forward to returning in hopes with better rice. Has anyone else had similar experiences or did we just get a bad batch???