There’s truly no shortage of sushi spots in Hudson County — from local favorites to new spots like Avocado Sushi coming soon. Locals have been loving Jersey City’s first sushi speakeasy, Sushi by Bou, since it opened its doors inside Ani Ramen in December 2019. Three years later, the spot has announced its expansion to The Mile Square — and the new location opens this weekend on Saturday, January 14th. Read on to learn more about this unique sushi restaurant and what we can expect from the Hoboken location.
Expanding to Hoboken
Sushi by Bou’s newest location in The Mile Square opens on Saturday, January 14th, 2023. The restaurant will be open from 5PM-11PM seven days a week, and resides at 225 River Street on the ground floor of the W Hotel in Hoboken. You can make a reservation here.
To celebrate the opening of its second Hudson County location, Sushi by Bou will be having a “Sushi for the People” contest where diners can sign up for a chance to win an exclusive invite to a private seating with complementary omakase, cocktails, and sake. Find out more on Instagram.
The Hoboken location will have a customized theme that draws inspiration from the female rappers of 90s hip hop, while still keeping in theme with the other locations, per Jersey Digs. The white stone sushi counter seats 12 and the dining area features hand-drawn and watercolor graffiti murals commissioned by local Japanese artists.
According to the Sushi by Bou website, its goal is to keep “changing the sushi scene across America. With an ever-growing list of locations, Sushi by Bou brings a high-end Omakase experience to the people in an intimate and speakeasy environment.”
The Omakase Experience
If you’re unfamiliar with Omakase, in Japanese it means “to entrust” yourself in the hands of the chef, placing the choice of ingredients and presentations in the hand of the sushi chef (or itamae).
In Jersey City, the timed Omakase at Sushi by Bou (there are 30- and 60-minute options) is served at an 8-seat counter and features the freshest of fish, both locally sourced as well as brought in from all over the world.
The seasoned sushi chefs serve directly, bite by bite during the experience (which ends up being about a roll and-a-half of delicacies including sea urchin, scallops, and more) with the menu being set and not shared till you’re there — via a sign to the right of the small bar. Behind the bar seats, there’s a small cocktail bar where drinks are served. The cost per dining experience is $50/person, and is complimented by a craft selection of handmade cocktails, imported sake, and rare Japanese Whiskeys.
And these situations are timed, so make sure to be on time. Say you sit down at 7PM for the 60-minute sitting, then you have 60 minutes to indulge in Omakase sushi goodness.
Which brings us to the serving situation: There are no servers! It’s a unique experience in that each sitting is only about eight to 10 people per timed eating slot, but it’s also unique in that patrons get one-on-one time with the chef. No servers. Just you, your date, and the chef.
About Sushi by Bou
The concept and brand Sushi by Bou has been featured in the New York Times, Eater, and more, growing in popularity over the last few years. Simple Venue is the hospitality group behind the Sushi by Bou speakeasy — with 12 locations. The company specializes in micro restaurants and “bringing incredible concepts to underutilized spaces.” With 15 years of experience in the biz, Sushi by Bou is looking to expand throughout the U.S. under the direction of its executive chef, David Bouhadana. The concept is his brainchild, after traveling to Japan when he was 21 to learn everything he could about sushi-making and its culture.
Sushi by Bou seems to be characterized by, of course, its signature sushi dishes, but also by a very specific vibe and ambiance. Each location is different, however, and the Jersey City locale is tucked in a cozy nook where Luigi’s Ice Cream used to be (in the back right area of Ani Ramen).
The experience is chic, fun, and different, and an ideal date night, private party event, or night out with a friend. Drinks are delicious, food is curated and served in bite-sized portions.