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Basho?

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MaggieCat May 17, 2010 08:57 AM

Has anyone been? I am planning to take a friend who loves sushi out to celebrate his graduation from grad school and thought it might be fun to try someplace new. He loves Duozo already and I believe its the same owners. But I'd love to get some reviews from chowhounds before taking the plunge for his special dinner. Thanks!

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  1. MC Slim JB RE: MaggieCat May 17, 2010 09:16 AM

    I haven't dined there yet, but the menu seems to place a greater emphasis on tempura, grilled items (in the Japanese style), and Western-style raw bar, but otherwise looks pretty similar to Douzo. Like most places in that neighborhood, you'll have to keep an eye out for Red Sox crowds.

    http://mcslimjb.blogspot.com/

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    Douzo
    131 Dartmouth St, Boston, MA 02116

    1 Reply
    1. re: MC Slim JB
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      MaggieCat RE: MC Slim JB May 17, 2010 09:40 AM

      Yes, as regular at Eastern Standard, I'm aware of what that area looks like on game days... Thankfully the Sox are away this weekend.

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      Eastern Standard
      528 Commonwealth Avenue, Boston, MA 02215

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      Gabatta RE: MaggieCat May 17, 2010 10:38 AM

      If your friend loves Douzo, he should be extremely happy at Basho. You correct that is is from the same owners, and some of the staff has moved over to open the new location as well. The new space is huge, but they rely on a fantastic front of house to help keep things clicking.

      I would describe the menu as having almost everything you can find at Douzo, plus many new additions. As Slim pointed out there is a robata grill (built into a neat glass walled enclosure visible from the dining room), on which they turn out some tasty meats and veggies on skewers. The Japanese Yam and Pork with Scallion were both good. It will take a bit of time for them to coordinate the order flow among the sushi bar, kitchen and robata grill, however we rarely had a table without something to eat on it.

      The sashimi and maki are as good as ever. The owners have always sourced the best fish which is more than half the battle IMO. In addition to the standards, new from the sushi bar are Basho flavored sashimi and sushi offerings. Generally I am a bit wary of dressing up top quality fish with flavor and sauces. However, we tried the sashimi sampler and were glad we did. The flavors complemented the fish, but were subtle enough not to overwhelm. There were also some new maki on the menu (yes they serve 'americanized' maki, but they do it damn well).

      Douzo is still more convenient for us to get to, however we will hit Basho frequently as well. These are our go to sushi places in Boston. They are a bit on the pricey side (though well south in price of the likes of Uni, O Ya and even the SE Oishii), however outstanding service and some of the best fish around make it worthwhile for us.

      There is a large bar area and the windows open for patio seating. It will be a bit non traditional, however this joins Audubon at the top of my list for pre-Sox game places.

      Enjoy your meal!

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      Douzo
      131 Dartmouth St, Boston, MA 02116

      2 Replies
      1. re: Gabatta
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        MaggieCat RE: Gabatta May 18, 2010 06:20 AM

        Thanks Gabatta, that's really helpful! Folks on Yelp seemed to have some complaints about the design of the room (too large and cafeteria-like). What did you think about the space as compared to Douzo? Seems like it's worth trying for ourselves either way, but just curious what your opinion was.

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        Douzo
        131 Dartmouth St, Boston, MA 02116

        1. re: MaggieCat
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          Gabatta RE: MaggieCat May 18, 2010 11:12 AM

          The space is huge, probably 2x the size of Douzo. It is one large open space with a high ceiling for the most part, so very tough to make that intimate. I think they have done a decent job breaking the flow into several different areas.

          Immediately to your left when you enter is a very large bar area. It is much easier to get a drink here than at Douzo on crowded nights. There are also tables and several plasma TV's on the far left wall (nod to the Red Sox crowd). The front of this space (as with the other dining room side) has windows that open to sidewalk seating). Behind the bar area are two private seating areas. One room with some sort of white synthetic walls with small cut outs does a good job giving privacy while letting the energy of the restaurant in. The other is a large nook which could be curtained off.

          The sushi bar is immediately in front of you along the back wall when you enter and extends all the way to the right side of the restaurant. Like everything it is huge. They probably have over a dozen sushi chefs back there on busy nights. There is also the glass boothed robta grill on this side of the restaurant. The rest of the right hand side is mostly tables. I can see how the open space might seem a bit cafeteria like, but on busy nights there is a good buzz to the space. There are a limited number of booths around the preiphery. Snag one of these if you can over a table.

          I am probably forgetting a lot as we have only been there 2x. If you like Douzo, there is no doubt that it is worth trying for yourselves. We will be back on Friday with friends. Enjoy!

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          Douzo
          131 Dartmouth St, Boston, MA 02116

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        thegirlwholovestoeat RE: MaggieCat Jul 13, 2010 07:49 AM

        We were here for a birthday dinner this past Sunday (7/11), and everything was outstanding. We had a party of eight and were dining at 8:00pm, 1 of maybe 3 tables in the whole restaurant. The space was a bit "un-intimate" because of the high ceilings and large open space but there were also a few cool design elements, particularly the lighting. Since we were with a large group we didn't get to try everything we wanted, but instead went along with the flow. Here are a few dishes that I tasted that really stood out:

        Chicken Balls: This appetizer was great, small meatballs that are caramelized on the outside and juicy inside
        Fried Shumai: Nothing special, pretty much like all others, not greasy at all
        Spicy Edamame: They have a few different options for toppings, the spicy version is juicy and messy becuase of the chili sauce that is on it, but very tasty
        Dragon Roll: Sweet potato tempura, avocado, eel
        Yuzo Yellowtail: Very light flavor, still got the fish, delicious

        Overall everything was outstanding, and we got out of there (with a separate check) for $80 for dinner for two including 2 drinks each.

        1. Mike5966 RE: MaggieCat Jul 20, 2010 12:22 PM

          I tried their sushi at lunch and despite very fresh fish, it was pretty underwhelming, mainly because the rice wasn't seasoned well enough. I had some basics including nigiri pieces of salmon, yellowtail, tuna, as well as a salmon roe (eggs were kinda deflated-looking, not plump and healthy). I don't generally care about ambiance, but this place looks like it's trying too hard to be trendy. Unfortunately, at lunchtime with a nearly empty dining room, with only washed out outdoor lighting coming through the big windows in the front, it just felt kinda sad.

          1 Reply
          1. re: Mike5966
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            Buzzy2 RE: Mike5966 Aug 25, 2011 07:42 AM

            Over a year later and they still don't get it right. I agree that the rice wasn't properly seasoned, although I dodn't mention that in my review here (Bashing Basho.) Perhaps the quality of the fish has declined since some of the comments here, since I would have to disagree that they serve only top quality fish for sushi. The o-toro wasn't even close to being toro and the yellowtail that I had was almost tasteless.

            I also agree with your comments about the decor and when I was there at 7PM on a weekday it was nearly empty too. I had high hopes. Sad, I agree.

          2. SaraASR RE: MaggieCat Oct 15, 2010 04:48 PM

            Any updates on Basho? Thinking of heading there for dinner tomorrow night. Particular maki suggestions? Also, do they serve cocktails (and are they good)?

            1 Reply
            1. re: SaraASR
              maillard RE: SaraASR Aug 26, 2011 04:25 AM

              Personally, I like Basho okay. The sushi is not great, but some of the non-sushi stuff is pretty good (especially their ohitashi, which is maybe the best I've ever had).

              They do serve cocktails, but they are terrible. Really bad. Everything is super sweet and not at all balanced or tasty. I had forgotten how bad they are and made the mistake of ordering a whiskey smash there a few weeks ago (it was on the menu). No mint or lemon, just a tall glass of sugary bourbon. It tasted maybe like a bourbon and ginger ale with some simple syrup added. So gross. Stick with beer. Or maybe a gin and tonic or something similar. I think probably they could make that okay, but who knows.

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              AaronInBoston RE: MaggieCat Aug 26, 2011 12:12 PM

              Went there once, really enjoyed the meal and atmosphere. It's a bit expensive but what do you expect for the quality and location? Sushi was just good not great, still worth getting IMO. Other food we tried was great. Get the pork buns from the warm app menu! also had banana tempura with ice cream for dessert which was a treat. everything was presented beautifully. itching to go back with my groupon i got recently.

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