This is my yuzu. It was given to me by Masato Shimizu, the sushi chef at Jewel Bako last evening. It was shaved over a piece of sushi, one of many pieces of sushi presented to B. and me during our omakase dinner.
My yuzu is delicate and smaller than its customary size -- epicurious.com says that they are typically the size of a tangerine. This was a fitting gift from Jewel Bako, itself a tinier-than-expected establishment nestled on E. 5th Street. The sushi bar is neatly fitted into the corner, and seats just six.
Omakase means "chef's choice", which means that the sushi that B. and I consumed was based on sushi chef Shimizu's opinion of what was freshest that day. I had done omakase before at Blue Ribbon Sushi Brooklyn, but not at the sushi bar, which meant that my sushi arrived pre-selected on a platter, which provided no hint at the chef's selection process. At Jewel Bako, we had a front row seat. Shimizu, his assistant and host Jack Lamb were gracious, friendly, accommodating, and generous, answering all of our inquiries and patiently describing the fish, sake and appetizers. At one point, my continued questioning about the different ingredients prompted Jack to hand me his thick "Food's Food" catalog of Japanese food so I could peruse it myself.
I didn't take any pictures -- I was enjoying myself too much. I don't think it's a dining experience that my hack writing and a couple of awkward photos could do justice. I'm not going to write any more about this meal, except to say that it was one of the finest meals I have ever eaten, and that I am so thankful to B. for taking me to Jewel Bako. I shall return the favor soon!