At this hip dining room, a handsome three-sided counter wrapped around the open kitchen entitles guests to a front row seat and evening of culinary distinction. Each element just works so well here, from the judicious lighting that makes everything feel more sensual and the far-from-anodyne music, to the delightful cadre of servers who appear ninja-style from nowhere to be at your side.
Each course presented features a thoughtful, appropriate and linear progression, thereby epitomizing the unalloyed pride of this entire team. Flavors are refined yet assured, innovative yet expertly balanced. Find evidence in a knob of shari rice tucked with deliciously oily mackerel, pickled turnip greens, and toasted nori. You might be tempted to think a bite composed of broken rice, sea urchin and scallop dashi is the best of the night, until the arrival of a wonderfully smoked Muscovy duck breast, perfectly complemented by a layered wedge of cool celery root.
For those with less time to spare, Ko Bar isn't just a pass-through on the way to the main space. It's an entirely new way to experience the main kitchen's eats. It's also an about-face to Ko's tasting menu, as you can pop in and order à la carte.