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Bamboo 52

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Bamboo 52

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Address: 344 West 52nd Street
City: New York, NY
Zip: 10019
Phone: (212) 315-2777
Hours: noon to 4am (7 days)
Site: Visit the restaurant site
Map: Map
Cuisine: Japanese
2nd Cuisine: Sushi
Area: West 50s
Takeout: Yes
Delivery: Yes


Diners of a certain age – and that includes yours truly – will be mighty tempted to ask for a pair of earplugs to go along with their chopsticks at Bamboo 52, a new “sushi lounge” in Hell’s Kitchen that’s drawing enthusiastic younger crowds. Visiting on a recent Friday night with a pair of friends from New Mexico, we seemed to be the only group in the place over 40 – and consequently wincing at the rather-deafening “background” music from the nearby DJ stand. But, truth be told, once we adjusted to the decibel level and began to sample the very fine food and drink engineered by veteran restaurateur John Greco, we didn’t mind the music so much. It probably helps to start with one of Bamboo’s inventive cocktails, many based on sake, such as the delicious Sake Sangria. And any misgivings quickly melted away with one bite of the baby octopus salad, in which warm tentacles coated in a kicky spicy mayonnaise sauce are piled in a martini glass, and are sure to disappear even quicker than that libation might. More traditional but still satisfying starters included a generous bowl of steamed edamame and fine if unexceptional shrimp shu mai. But the restaurant’s raison d’etre – indeed, what constitutes 99 percent of the menu – is raw fish. Greco certainly has found fresh specimens to serve, as proved by a delicious platter of sashimi, which included tuna, salmon, and mackerel. We were equally pleased with the various types of sushi rolls we sampled, including the Dinosaur Roll (salmon, tuna, yellowtail, mock crab, avocado, cucumber, and flying fish roe) and the Alaska Roll (king salmon, avocado, cucumber, and flying fish roe). The noise level might keep you from sticking around for dessert – and frankly, you’re not missing much. The only option is Mochi, a Japanese specialty in which ice cream (in flavors ranging from green tea to chocolate) is enclosed in wonton wrappers, and served with some ultra-sweet sauce. It may be to your taste, however, just as Bamboo 52 has already become a favorite with some of the city’s younger taste mavens.

Review By: Brian Scott Lipton