Meat is definitely on the menu at Basement, yet getting to experience is something that requires a little creative scheduling and a willingness to venture into new surroundings. It also requires a hefty wallet that will rule out the casual drop-in crowd, though those that venture into will likely be pleased with their decision.
The restaurant’s name is an acknowledgement of its actual location, underneath the much-more prominent Tetsu. The concept is the brainchild of Masa Takayama, who not only runs both of these establishments, but also the iconic Masa. Even though Takayama is considered among the finest sushi chefs, there’s no reason to be concerned that he’s stretching himself too thin in the highly-competitive world of beef-oriented restaurants.
That’s because his concept of meat omakase delivers ohmi, ranked among the finest beef from Japan, and adds in proteins that are rarely glimpsed by diners. Capping this storied list is the always-alluring sight of caviar. Given that equation, the price tag for the meals offered of $350 and more sounds about right, even if it does rule out a good-sized portion of the population.
That scheduling aspect comes into play because the restaurant is only open from Wednesday thought Friday. Those shying away from healthy portions of beef can try some surf to counter the turf, such as crunchy garlic and steamed shrimp. Still those who like chicken won’t be disappointed by offerings like shanghaiese drunken chicken and chicken-neck skewer. In the latter case, these are definitely menu items that won’t be seen at your local KFC.
The elite dishes on the menu both combine beef with one of two combinations. The first has wasabi that’s joined with black truffles and rice that’s tantalizingly immeresed in garlic butter. The second has beef tartare and caviar on top of garlic toast.