Thanks to a Groupon, we mustered up the energy to venture over to Fenway and give Basho Japanese Brasserie a try! Walking in at 12:30 on a Saturday afternoon amid a torrential downpour, the place was pretty empty, and the sleek, dim interior with high ceilings somewhat added to the emptiness. The space didn't do much for me, but that was nothing a satisfying meal couldn't fix.
We were quickly seated and presented with the menus - quite extensive! There's basically about every type of Japanese you could want, not to mention daily specials, cocktails...To start we went with one of the appetizers on special, a refreshing ceviche with octopus, mango, and a number of other delicious things. We also threw in an order of edamame steamed in spicy garlic and ginger to munch on. How bad could that be?
For our actual meals we ended up with one of the types of lunch specials. I went with the Basho Lunch Set includes chef's choice of sashimi, sushi, yakimono, and agemono served with salad, rice, and fruit. Yakimono is a general category of grilled and pan-friend dishes, while agemono are deep-fried dishes.
I absolutely love the concept of bento, and this selection didn't disappoint! For my sushi I had a nigiri shrimp (kind of lame, but that's fine) and then red snapper - really fresh and delicious - and then two pieces of a roll with avocado, crab stick, some type of roe, and a fried mystery item! My sashimi was nice fat, pieces of salmon. Perfect! I honestly have no idea what my agemono was, but it was starchy and the consistency or sweet potato - perhaps some type of root, mixed with assorted bits of veggies. The yakemono was a nice skewer of grilled shrimp and veggies, and there were also a few pieces of chicken katsu. That, plus the salad, rice, and orange, is a pretty nice array of stuff!
The other lunch special, the selection bento, includes the choice of a sushi roll and main course, also served with salad, rice, and fruit. For the roll you can choose between Spicy Tuna, Alaskan, California, Sweet Potato, or Garden, and the main course is either chicken katso, salmon teriyaki, vegetable tempura, or a beef roll. Yum! Chris chose the spicy tuna roll - standard and well done, and the beef role, which is done as if it were maki in that the beef is pounded out and used to wrap, like nori. The beef was glazed with teriyaki and wrapped around asparagus.
All in all everything was really nicely put together. My only complaint is that I wish I had ordered more sushi and sashimi! I'll certainly be back for more of the sushi items, as well as more interesting dishes like smoked salmon fried rice and spicy lobster miso soup!