I did not know what to expect when I went to Bamboo 52, a Japanese restaurant located Midtown West: it was my first time there and I simply found it on Opentable, looking for a reservation for a large group.
I immediately understood when I entered that it was not just a restaurant, but also a lounge, thanks to its neon and fluorescent lighting.
The place is big, with a garden in the back and a small room that is probably used for private parties when needed.
So it is a lounge and, therefore, they have a nice selection of alcohol, from Sake to draft beers. I decided to have a Yuengling, an all American beer from the Yuengling Cie, established in 1829 in Pottsville, Pennsylvania. Ok, I got fooled by the name...Anyway, it was a nice beer...
For the menu, no surprise: they serve sushi, sashimi, rolls, etc...with of course a lunch menu that is reasonably priced, especially considering that they offer a glass of sake and dessert with it, items that we did not get a chance to enjoy as we were running out of time (it took a while for the food to come). Not that they reminded either that we had these included when we ordered our drinks or at the end of the meal when they cleared our tables...I guess that is the only disappointing part of this whole experience, the food being quite good. Is it exceptional? Definitely not. I would say that the main advantages of this place are: can accommodate large parties, the lunch menu (especially if you get everything...) and the lounge.
There, I tried:
One of their bento boxes, that came with a salad that would have been boring if not for the sesame seeds on top that added a nice nutty flavor. What I like is that you pick the food that will go in the bento box, each time between two choices. For instance, chicken or salmon teriyaki; California or spicy tuna roll.
I decided to pick:
California roll (over the spicy tuna roll):
Shrimp shumai (over the chicken shumai):
Salmon teriyaki (over chicken teriyaki).
That was good, nothing out of the ordinary that would make this restaurant stand up to the competition, but good.
I also tried some of their specialty rolls, such as The American Dream, made with spicy lobster, yellowtail, jalapeño, scallop, tobiko and honey wasabi sauce.
Or the Dinosaur, made with salmon, tuna, white tuna, kani, avocado, cucumber, wrapped in soy paper.
The rolls were delicious and the fish tasted fresh, but I am still upset about the fact that they did not honor their lunch menu!
Enjoy (I did)!
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And Remember: I Just Want To Eat!