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first impressions/reviews?

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  1. I was there for a private event last week. Not everything on the menu was available- but there were plenty of choices- and those that we tried were all very good.

    While the steak was not as good as at Solo, it was still far better than almost any other kosher restaurant in NYC.

    Decor was understated but nice.

    Service was excellent (hope that lasts!)


    4 Replies
      1. re: weinstein5

        Upper West Side - 217 W. 85th St.

        1. re: GilaB

          When is it opening to the public?

          1. re: flo220

            They're open to the public starting tonight. I made reservations for later in the week - I'll update you!

      1. re: craigcep

        wow - prices seem cheap compared to PG -

        1. re: craigcep

          This menu and prices look great! excellent options.

          1. re: KosherChef

            And from today's Times:

            PRIME KO Joey Allaham, who owns Prime Grill, a glatt kosher steakhouse in Midtown, has opened this duplex glatt kosher Japanese steakhouse with a sushi menu minus shellfish. It has a sushi bar downstairs. The chef, Makoto Kameyama (above), also serves yakitori, ceviche, tempura and noodles: 217 West 85th Street, (212) 496-1888.

        2. Ate at Prime KO last night! The restaurant is gorgeous - I checked out the upstairs but ate downstairs. Upstairs is a really elegant dining room, perfect for private parties. Downstairs has a really fun vibe with a lounge area, full liquor bar and sushi bar with seats.
          The food is very moderately priced with a wideranging menu - there's an expansive fish menu (sushi, sashimi, and otherwise), but there are also a lot of meat, chicken, and vegetable options for anyone not a fish eater. I loved everything I had and there's so much more that I want to try out. I started with the seafood boullibaise (which I've never had before - it was amazing) and my friend had this really tasty chicken ball soup (i'm going to mangle the spelling but I think it's called tsukunai) and we shared a sushi platter - AMAZING. Then I had the shabu shabu, which is beef swished in a broth (it sounds weird but it's great) and my friend had the chateubriand - very decently priced and VERY good. For dessert I had the yuzu souffle tart and my friend had the coconut meringue. Really tasty and such a nice change from the runny chocolate cakes (never a bad idea, but it's nice to change it up once in awhile - although there is a warm chocolate cake on the menu for the faint of heart, along with an assortment of ice creams, sorbets, and fresh fruit).
          Highly recommend - we had a great time.
          The service was great, despite its relative newness - our waiter was attentive to our needs and informed on the menu.

          1. I went last night with a few family members - all together a party of five. I was a little nervous because sometimes a new place takes time to iron our the wrinkles, and a larger group is always more challenging. Overall, we were very impressed. The space is beautiful, more hip and MUCH quieter than the other upscale kosher places like Prime Grill or Solo. We sat downstairs, and it was a pleasure not to hear our neighbors dinner conversation. Food did take a long time to arrive - likely related to this being the second week, but I will have to go back to confirm. The food was fantastic. Crispy rice balls with spicy tuna was my favorite appetizers. The beef carpaccio was also delicious. We mainly ordered sushi for the entrée, but did try a few other items (kobe beef ravioli and sautéed mushroom salad also very good). The sushi rolls were good but not brilliant, but all the sushi/sashimi appetizers were incredibly good, and same for the quality of the sashimi. Desserts were good, although unfortunately parve always means not quite as good as the real thing. Aside from the wait for our food, service was very good - friendly and courteous. And finally - prices were significantly better than I expected, given the quality of the menu. Definitely plan to visit again soon.

            1. I am a restaurant critic for the Jewish Star and I am scheduled to review Prime KO on June 6th. Having been to Prime Grill on a number of occasions and enjoying it I am looking forward to trying Prime KO.

              1 Reply
              1. re: TheKosherCritic

                I hope you've already been there, and it's just that your review is scheduled for publication on that date. Otherwise, you've just announced to them to keep an eye out for you!

              2. Was there Monday night. Had wagyu sliders/veg tempura as apps, were excellent. Shabu/shabu was great. I had 14 oz steak, delicious. Sides of brown rice w wagyu beef and string beans great. Price fair for its upscale nature. Service was excellent and responsive. Def would go back.

                1. I've been there twice. Both times extremely full and noisy but food came sooo fast and service was excellent. The menu is not typical and I really love everything I've tried. My husband is obsessed with the tuna pizza. The steaks aren't great, but the sushi, appetizers and desserts are excellent. I would definitely recommend.

                  1. I don't usually post, but feel like this thread is way too complimentary.

                    My husband and I eat dairy out, and have visited many kosher restaurants that we would recommend - including Prime Grill. We actually laughed about this restaurant after our visit. It would be a shame for someone to go to this restaurant hoping to impress.

                    The decor is good. Its set up to resemble some of the more clubby non-kosher spots. We were downstairs and felt like it we were far away from the west side. But that's where it ends.

                    The food ranged from fair to downright bad. I had the short ribs, which I had heard great things about. They tasted like flanken cooked in teriyaki sauce. Fine, but something I could easily do at home. The beef negimaki could have been good, but had been cooked too long and was bone dry. Haikara did a much better job on negimaki, for a comparison.

                    The waiter honestly dodged answering about the "Hamburg" curry dish, saying, "People order it" when asked if it was good. Someone at our table did order it and passed it around. It was an unfortunate dish that a bachelor in college might throw together for shabbos as an experiment. Creative, yes. Delicious, not by a long way.

                    Other dishes tried but missed the mark. The kimchi dish had no kimchi in it. The thai fish looked limp and colorless. Was it supposed to be a curry dish? If yes, where was the curry liquid? Was it supposed to be stir fry? Where were the vibrant colors and flavors. We felt a little bad for the person who ordered it.

                    The staff was personable and nice - but the service was spotty and slow. We were a party of 10. The waiter came to take our drink orders, but only went to one side of the table, leaving abruptly after taking a few orders. He did not return until someone got up and went over to let him know that we had not finished ordering. The food orders were taken in one round (no more leaving the table), but after a very long wait - more than 20 minutes. The food came to the table at different times, not all at once. We had a difficult time getting the waiter's attention to ask for additional service items or to ask for another round of drinks.

                    Wish it were better. Maybe they will improve.

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: skofman

                      Just had 1st experience at Prime Ko, and being a fan of the other Prime restaurants, had high hopes- slightly more reasonable menu, modern decor, interesting menu... Good drinks gave a promising start, but then waited about an hour and a half for mains to arrive, with waiters avoiding our glances and the occasional apology thrown in. Salmon main was decent- nice size piece in typical teriyaki sauce. Shabu shabu was decent but came with about 10 thin slices of meat- certainly not a belly-filler. Maitre D came by to apologize for wait and offered a few more scraps of meat. When the waiter came by and I mentioned it to him, he said he'd check with the Maitre D, but returned 15 minutes later and claimed he couldn't find him. At that point I'd had enough and requested the bill. At THAT point they offered us a free desert which I accepted- a molten chocolate cake and ice cream sandwich combo that was tasty though cutting edge for 1987. They then followed that by taking 1/2 off our bill instead of the free desert. Overall, modern decor, decent food, small-ish portions, interminable wait and disinterested staff. At least they have LOTS of room for improvement!

                    2. i ve been to prime ko for 5 times now i enjoyed so much with my family. i also watch how nasty some patrons can be. poeple keep in mind that a restaurant is the hardest thing to put together and it takes days and nights to be ready for day 1. prime ko opened up at the end of April and in my opinion is doing a great job so far delivering and accommodating the most difficult and demanding customers. there is no way comparing prime grill, solo and prime ko.cause prime grill is 9-10 years old solo 6 years old prime ko is 2 months old.
                      i don't eat apples and i don't like them it doesn't mean apples are bad, right? so i keep in mind not to say apples are disgusting cause other people like it and they don't care about my taste and if the deli around the corner knows that i talk s--t about his apples he will not serve me anymore
                      will give prime ko about six months than we talk

                      1. I was there again last week and second my original post. Fun vibe; nice without being too serious, and excellent food and service. Ordered some new things, but the same sushi/sashimi apps we enjoyed the first time, and everything was consistently delicious. In addition, we arrived almost an hour late after having horrific traffic, and even though the kitchen had already officially closed, the manager seated us anyway. So 2 extra points for true customer service. I am surprised to see any negative reviews here - we live in nyc and eat out all the time, and this place is now at the top of my list for a nice night out.

                        1. I haven't been to this restaurant but just looked at their menu on menupages and wonder if I'm one of the few who is annoyed that they serve blue fin tuna. This fish is near extinction, what gives?

                          6 Replies
                          1. re: ravenport

                            I agree that we shouldn't order/eat bluefin. For what it's worth, when my husband and I were there last week (we enjoyed it very much, especially the desserts), the menu was markedly different from what's available on menupages; I do not remember whether or not the bluefin was still on it.

                            1. re: GilaB

                              it's most probably not actually Bluefin,
                              rather a fatter belly cut of Bigeye tuna.

                              keep in mind that all sushi fish are deep frozen,
                              so the Bluefin defrosted and eaten today,
                              may have been caught or ranched YEARS ago.

                              I do agree that removing it's mention from their menu
                              would be the most politically correct thing to do.

                            2. re: ravenport

                              I see no reason to be annoyed. If we don't eat it someone else will, so why not us? I could support a temporary moratorium on fishing in order to let stocks recover, so that in the future we can once again enjoy this fish. (Provided that it was guaranteed to be temporary, and not turn into a permanent ban as happened with whales.) But right now there is no such moratorium, so the stocks are going to go on being depleted whether we eat it or not. Nothing we do will guarantee that we can enjoy it in 20 or 30 years. So why not eat them up now? What are they for, if not to be eaten?

                              1. re: zsero

                                Folks, debating the appropriateness of eating bluefin tuna is really off-topic for the Kosher board. If you want to have this discussion, please start a new thread on the Not About Food board.

                              2. re: ravenport

                                While I hear you on this, and even agree, still do you eat Chilean Sea Bass? Not going to last the decade....but one of the most popular catering offerings still.
                                Also, as a kosher chef working under the STAR-K, I have to tell you that the lists of fish currently banned is baffling leaving us very few option. Cod, Snapper, Fluke, Wild Salmon, Flounder, Yellowtail, and Sable to mention a few...ALL BANNED. I hate that we can't serve any of the above, but a farmed Chinese Tilapia packed to the brim with toxins....no prob. I have no answers....just questions.

                                1. re: gotcholent

                                  Again, please keep replies on-topic. What to do with banned fish, and which fish should be on the banned list is a more suitable topic for the Not About Food Board. Thank you.

                              3. Went to PrimeKo last week for my anniversary and really enjoyed it. The food was very good, the service was excellent and it was less expensive than its sister restaurants (although the portions were smaller).

                                For the apps we had the chicken teriyaki skewers and wagyu sliders. The sliders were excellent, and the skewers were pretty good, but a bit on the sweet side. For the main, we had the 14 oz steak and the curry chicken. The steak tasted great and was cooked as I requested. (medium rare). The chicken was also well cooked and was very moist, but I'm not the biggest fan of curry. I also orderd a side of brown rice, which was fine, but was cooked in a sweet sauce. For dessert I had the molten chocolate cake. The cake was ok, but it came with mocha ice cream in almond cookies which tasted great. Two issues: they have only one chicken main course and they don't have any standard starch side dishes ie french fries or mashed potatoes. (when my wife asked for white rice, they waiter said they can give us a bowl of sushi rice)

                                Also, as I wrote earlier, the service was excellent. Each course arrived very quickly, but we were never rushed.

                                7 Replies
                                1. re: zevx

                                  I don't have a problem with no french fries/white rice, though it's surprising they don't have fries with a menu that has sliders.

                                  1. re: zevx

                                    And this is why all kosher restaurants end up with bland generic food. Can you imagine any other board on chowhound where a diner complains about a Japanese Steakhouse not having french fries or mashed potatoes?

                                    1. re: avitrek

                                      meat & potatoes is a staple of most European diets.
                                      it's kind of hard to deprogram generations of eaters.
                                      I've gone potatoe free for 15 years, but it's still hard
                                      to find something to eat when our family gathers...

                                      1. re: Joe Berger

                                        And Kasbah is across the street for people who want a burger and fries. Let Kasbah stick to what they do and Prime KO to what they do. No need to have every restaurant cater to everything.

                                        1. re: Joe Berger

                                          But it's an asian (inspired) restaurant. Furthermore, there are NYC Jews who aren't "European."

                                        2. re: avitrek

                                          They have sweet potato fries, why can't they have regular potato fries? More importantly, i don't think they had any potato side dish.

                                          1. re: zevx

                                            Although I can not personally vouch for this side dish as I never tried it (although I've had the sweet potato fries and the rice and the steamed veggies - all really good choices!), there is a side option of mashed potatoes with mushrooms -

                                      2. my husband and I have been there 3 times and each time was worse than the time before. we are both huge prime grill lovers and occasionally we go to solo. we are usually always happy with the food, service, and everything at solo and prime grill. Prime ko cannot even be compared to solo and PG. we will never go back. quality of food is not great, takes forever to get your food, waiter service is downright nasty. im so surprised so many people like this place.

                                        15 Replies
                                        1. re: Mar123

                                          I'm so surprised to hear your response. I've always had a good time at Prime Ko. Granted there have been times when the food didn't come out as quickly as at pg or solo but i guess when i'm there i'm always there with a party of people and we're having such a great time that we don't notice - the cocktails are great, the wait staff is really really nice, and the food is delicious and fresh (so important with sushi and sashimi!). prime ko is my new go-to fun spot.

                                          1. re: brooklynkoshereater

                                            I was here recently and was not impressed. There's one vegetarian entree on the menu- fried vegetables. The waiter could not even tell me what vegetables were included in the dish. Only one non fish or meat sushi roll was on the menu labelled "vegetable roll." When I asked if it was a specific combo of veggies or if I could choose my own, the waiter had no idea.

                                            Restaurant policy does not allow the waiters to take appetizer orders and come back again for entree orders. We were ready to order appetizers but not entrees, and the waiter hung over us until we decided. The waiter came back to confirm everyone's orders and got everything wrong. When the food came, all my friends' steaks were cooked wrong. Medium well was medium rare. Medium rare was well done.

                                            I can't totally blame the waiter, but when you're paying $40+ for a steak, you really want the dinner to be perfect. I'm not running back but I would go back with a group if that's the restaurant chosen.

                                            1. re: cheesecake17

                                              I have also had problems with steak orders at Prime KO. I don't think you can get a rare steak there. But if you want medium rare, order very rare and there is a high probability that it will come medium rare.

                                              I also ordered recently a truly delicious Tuna steak Delmonico, the sauce was perfect. I had ordered the tuna rare, and it was a perfect piece of sushi grade tuna. But where a tuna steak ordered rare should have arrived hot but raw inside, it was refrigerator cold inside and just sort of tinged brown on the outside. They seem to be incapable of doing steak the way you order it, tuna or beef. And that is what you expect a steakhouse to do.

                                              On the other hand, a Shabbat dinner I had there was so good that they must have had Shabbos food angels hovering over the kitchen.

                                              1. re: AdinaA

                                                I guess maybe they had an off night the two times I was there. Still, at those prices, I'm not running back.

                                                Was the Shabbat dinner a fixed menu? Curious as to what was served...

                                                1. re: cheesecake17

                                                  Cheesecake, I am sorry that I do not recall the details. It was in June and we have had the intention to go back because it was so delicious. There were six of us at the table. They served several courses, family style. And several choices in each course. There was a course with a variety of spreads and salads. I think there were two kinds of fish. there were certainly several meat dishes, multiple salads, potatoes and a rice dish. The many choices solve the problem of someone not liking chicken, or salmon, or whatever. It is prix fixe. When we finally find an available Friday in Manhattan and go back, I'll post. I have also had lovely Shabbat and Pesach meals at Darna. Solo is offering a special menu for Shabbat/New Year's Eve. But I think I'll cook and have people over.

                                                  1. re: AdinaA

                                                    Sounds interesting... happy you enjoyed!

                                                    1. re: cheesecake17

                                                      Here's the menu for next Friday:

                                                      Hors D’Ouerves
                                                      Kibbeh, Lahm bi Ajeen, Sambusak
                                                      Porcini Mushroom Soup
                                                      Entrees (served family style)
                                                      French Cut Chicken Breast With Black Truffles
                                                      Braised Short Ribs With White Wine and Root Vegetables
                                                      Apricot and Sesame Glazed Chilean Seabass
                                                      Side Dishes
                                                      Chestnut and Celery Root Puree
                                                      Creamed Spinach
                                                      Potato Soufflé
                                                      Coconut Milk Panna Cotta
                                                      Lime Gêlée, Tropical Fruits, Macadamia Nut Brittle
                                                      Roasted Pear
                                                      Almond Croustillant, Ginger Ice Cream
                                                      Lemongrass Gêlée

                                                      1. re: AdinaA

                                                        thanks! the shabbat menu seems very different from what's on their regular menu...

                                                        1. re: cheesecake17

                                                          Yes. Of course, my Shabbat menus are very different from my weekday menus, too :-)

                                                          Any chance you'll be there on New Year's Eve?

                                                          1. re: AdinaA

                                                            Nope.. we'll be home in Brooklyn! If you go there, hope you enjoy...

                                                2. re: AdinaA

                                                  From what I understand, a rare tuna steaks will always be cold on the inside as they are refrigerated before cooking - if they are warm in the middle, it means that they are not properly stored (at 40 degrees or lower). Rare preparation does not allow the tuna steak to heat through.

                                                  1. re: brooklynkoshereater

                                                    It should be cold on the inside, but not 'tinged brown' on the outside. Should be seared on the outside.

                                                    1. re: cheesecake17

                                                      When I do it, I sear it, but it is room temp to slightly warm in the center. And quite, quite rare.

                                                      1. re: AdinaA

                                                        It is possible, though, that the way that you prepare it at home is vastly different from the way that it is prepared in the restaurant.

                                                        1. re: AdinaA

                                                          When searing tuna loin in my commercial kosher kitchen, we like to butcher the tuna into 2-3" wide loins, roll them in sesame seeds, wrap tightly in plastic wrap and then freeze again. (Tuna being just about the only fish that can handle a refreeze)
                                                          We then sear the loins on a searing hot cast iron. This method will allow you to get a dark and delicious sear on the outside, while maintaining a bright red raw state for the rest of the fish. Even with carryover cooking, you are guaranteed a perfectly rare seared loin.
                                                          It can even be rewrapped and hold 36hrs in a fridge.

                                                          And as an aside....fish has to be held at 38 degrees not 40, especially smoked fish.

                                            2. I finally trekked to the UWS to kick the tires at Prime Ko. In short, my experience there was excellent. The maître d was actually friendly (take note restaurateurs!) and immediately welcomed us. Coats were whisked away with a smile. The layout is attractive - the upstairs floor features a high ceiling and comfortable seating. The tables are spaced nicely so it is not too loud to have a conversation. (Downstairs has closer quarters and a techno soundtrack. It seemed that no one over 30 was seated downstairs).

                                              Service was extremely attentive and swift. Someone noticed that our table was slightly askew and made a fast adjustment. Our server was knowledgeable about the menu and food and drinks arrived quickly but we were never rushed.

                                              I tried the following: 1) spicy tuna on crisped rice – delicious and obviously freshly made as the rice wedges were still crispy when they arrived; 2) Kara age – perfectly prepared with a delicious flavor and just the right amount of crispiness; 3) Wagyu sliders – I felt I had to try them based on reviews. They were tasty enough but not so exciting that I would feel inclined to order them again. The very best thing was the special I ordered – a reserve steak that was wrapped in beef “bacon,” coated in panko, cooked in a pinot noir reduction and finished over charcoal. It was done exactly to my specifications. I am not usually such a steak person but this dish blew me away; it was just that succulent. The dipping sauce was delicious but not at all necessary. I was given a serrated knife to cut the steak but a butter knife would have sufficed – really! When the waiter asked whether we would like dessert, I replied that I would like another of the special steaks (I didn’t – even I can only be so gluttonous). Yes, it was pricey but it was a true treat. I should say that I based my ordering in part on all the prior reviews I could find which may have helped ensure my positive experience. So thanks fellow reviews!

                                              1. Not always open on Fridays any more.

                                                The receptionist says that they now open only on Fridays when someone had booked one of the rooms for a party. If someone is holding a party for 40, they are open . If not,not.

                                                1. I went there with my wife and ordered a ton of food. The fish options were all great. it was very fresh and prepared well. The spicy tuna crunch appetizer was really good we got one to go. I didn't particularly care for the beef though. We got the short rib entree and I was disappointed with it. I felt like I should have stuck with the fish. Overall nice experience. Very friendly staff and a nice ambiance.

                                                  1 Reply