Bessou

4.5
78 reviews
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$30 and under
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Japanese
Bessou offers a modern take on everyday Japanese comfort food. Our ingredients are responsibly sourced and prepared with care, with a menu that is driven by local and seasonal produce.
What 78 People Are Saying
Overall ratings and reviews
Reviews can only be made by diners who have eaten at this restaurant
4.5based on recent ratings
4.4
food
4.3
service
4.4
ambience
4.2
value
Noise · Moderate
97% of people would recommend it to a friend
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OT
New York Area
4 reviews
Dined 4 days ago
Overall 4food 4service 5ambience 3

The menu is interesting and the food is well prepared. Service is warm and professional. Unfortunately, the sound level in the restaurant was so loud that it was hard to carry on a conversation with people at our table.

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OT
New York Area
1 review
Dined on March 15, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 4ambience 5

Such a wonderful suprise. Flavors were so vibrant and different. Worth the visit! Definitely going back!

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GE
Charleston
1 review
Dined on March 11, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

We absolutely loved Bessou. We found it through New York Magazine on a whim and decided to try it. So glad we did. Service was great, thanks to Cameron, and food was delicious. Get the brussels sprouts! Would highly recommend!

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HD
New York Area
3 reviews
Dined on March 10, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

discovered Bessou thanks to Open Table's suggested woman owned/chef restaurants in honor of International Women's Day. Great find! Food was delicious, and waitstaff very helpful and attentive.

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OT
New York Area
1 review
Dined on March 10, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Loved it. Comfortable Japanese food. Quaint space and ambience that is beautiful but not stuffy.

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BR
New York Area
1 review
Dined on March 2, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

Small space but cozy ambience. Great food and friendly staff.

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CJ
New York Area
7 reviews
Dined on February 28, 2019
Overall 2food 1service 4ambience 2

I was so disappointed for tonight’ dinner. This is the second time I went here. Last time I like the food and ambiance so much. I posted on social media and recommended to a lot of friends.
However, today’s meal was terrible!!! We ordered one small plate and one big pot. Both are not worthy for there price and tasted so so. Then we had to order another “big” pot. The pot is called spicy seafood... what really interesting is, it tastes not spicy at all... even not salty... What the hell?! The seafood is not fresh... and we added the ramen, which tasted like instant noodles.
So disappointed! Will not go again!
Over priced food with upset taste! Don’t go!
If I can, I will give a negative point review!

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JA
New York Area
5 reviews
Dined on February 27, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

My favorite downtown restaurant. Always inventive and fun.

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A
New York Area
16 reviews
Dined on February 22, 2019
Overall 1food 1service 1ambience 1

This restaurant had my reservation for 2 ppl instead of 5 and I could not be seated for 2 hours. They even called to confirm today. I did not eat here and would never recommend it again

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CA
New York Area
61 reviews
Dined on February 22, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Randomly chose this spot and am so happy we discovered it! Incredible service, stellar food and a super fun vibe! Highly recommend this place!!

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OT
New York Area
1 review
Dined on February 14, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Loved the food and service!!

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NG
Berlin
1 review
Dined on February 11, 2019
Overall 3food 5service 1ambience 3

The food is excellent - service was really bad. Try it...

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p
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on February 2, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

We were a party of six and had a great time at Bessou. The food was unique and delicious. Every dish we had, which we shared, was excellent. The service was warm and efficient. The atmosphere was cozy and inviting. Everyone said they wanted to come back again and try more dishes. The cost was reasonable especially considering the high quality. We even loved the desserts.

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JX
New York Area
33 reviews
Dined on January 26, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

Lovely pre-theater dinner on a cold Saturday night. Food was uniformly good, interesting, with some exceptionally nice touches. Knowledgeable staff; warm and friendly. This cuisine is precisely what in pretends to be, homey but not overly-familiar.

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JA
New York Area
6 reviews
Dined on January 25, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

I love it at Bessou! The food is always inventive and delicious. The staff, charming and attentive.

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OT
New York Area
1 review
Dined on December 31, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 4ambience 4

Perfect place and great menu for New Year’s Eve

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J
New York Area
1 review
Dined on December 31, 2018
Overall 4food 4service 5ambience 5

Came here for NYE - Food was not as flavorful as I would've thought but aesthetics is on point. Live music sounded beautiful and it was a great vibe. NYE pre-fixe menu (not stated anywhere when booking reservation so was disappointed) had a nice variety but in the end, our group of 6 were just not satisfactorily full. Yuzu shots for the countdown and everyone received props, but a lot of other NYC restaurants will do the same so nothing insanely special. Will maybe try again in the future because of the music but not in a hurry for the food. Service however was wonderful so I have nothing bad to say about that, which unfortunately isn't always the case in the city.

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OT
New York Area
4 reviews
Dined on December 30, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Total gem of a restaurant. We were pleasantly surprised to sit at the kitchen bar. The chef (Emily) +2 in the tiny kitchen gave great care to their craft, and it was a treat to watch.

Food was delicious and delightfully complex. We had Brussels sprouts, grilled romaine, spicy prawns, and fried chicken. The chef kindly added a little “cigar” appetizer of tiny yummies wrapped in shisho leaves. The first three were our favorites, and we sneak-licked the plates clean. :)

The owner (Maiko) was our server and made excellent suggestions of Sake to pair with the dishes, including with our simple, delicious dessert of red bean / coconut sorbet.

One subtle, thoughtful detail was their serving cold barley tea as the default rather than water. It was slightly nutty and a great complement to the meal.

An exceptionally cozy spot well worth a return trip to explore the menu further.

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s
Philadelphia
17 reviews
Dined on December 27, 2018
Overall 3food 2service 4ambience 4

The food was disappointing but the service and ambiance were good

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MB
New York Area
2 reviews
Dined on December 26, 2018
Overall 4food 3service 4ambience 4

Good food (karaage was tasty, fish was a bit salty), friendly staff and nice atmosphere.

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4
San Francisco
24 reviews
Dined on December 24, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

Christmas Eve dinner. Fantastic experience. You never know with a price fix on a holiday but this meal didn’t disappoint! Appetizers were plentiful and delicious with a nice variety and the special hit pot was good too. Service was prompt and efficient even though everyone was eating at same time. Nice jazz Christmas play list.

We love this place and almost hate to write it up as it’s truly a hidden gem!

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OT
New England
1 review
Dined on December 12, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Everything was delicious! Got the crispy rice with salmon, the eggs, and dorade whole fish. Service was great.

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OT
New York Area
1 review
Dined on November 29, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

Food was very creative and well presented.

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OT
New York Area
4 reviews
Dined on November 17, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

I enjoy the food, the service was good. It was very different Japanese food, very interesting. I would definitely go back again.

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EN
New York Area
2 reviews
Dined on November 10, 2018
Overall 1food 1service 1ambience 1

Most awful experience. Server was inattentive. We had all the food at once with a super small table. We quickly finished one dish so that it can be cleared away but our server never attended us even after calling her for 20 mins. The food was so bad that we couldn’t finish it up (we don’t like to/never waste food!) The host was the worst of all... we paid 15% tip as the service was simply awful, and when she saw, she rolled her eyes and snatched the machine out of my hand immediately after i signed. No goodbye no thank you. Just an unkind and malicious glare. Worst restaurant ever. Would never recommend this to anyone.

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SR
Los Angeles
32 reviews
Dined on November 3, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 4ambience 5

I love Bessou so much. I live in LA but always have to dine here when I'm in town. It is casual but lovely, and the food is just so delicious. Every bite you take will be a revelation and a food moaning sound. The staff is great, the menu is amazing, the sake is fabulous, and it's just a really fun spot.

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OT
New York Area
2 reviews
Dined on November 1, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 3ambience 4

Tasty food

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ND
New York Area
1 review
Dined on October 6, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

Fantastic, interesting food, great service. Always amazed by unusual flavor combinations when I try new dishes, though it's hard to resist going back to favorites. Nice sake list.

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JA
New York Area
6 reviews
Dined on October 1, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

I love it at Bessou. The inventive and delicious food always surprises my guests.

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TB
Atlantic City
1 review
Dined on September 29, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

We try to make a stop at Bessou every time we make a visit back to NYC. There is always something new to try on the menu and we are never disappointed by the food or the Sake recommendations!

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KS
New York Area
117 reviews
Dined on September 26, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

Always a go to in the neighborhood - inventive dishes and fabulous friendly service.
The combinations of tastes, from the barley tea starter to desserts is a marvel. Each dish
is distinctive in its own way and the presentation is picture perfect

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OS
New York Area
17 reviews
Dined on September 22, 2018
Overall 4food 5service 3ambience 4

Among the most creative and delicious East Asian influenced food I’ve had. Excellent selection of options from appetizers, soups and salads to small plates and entrees, intriguing teas and enchanting desserts. With one notable exception: no forethought given to those who are gluten-free. Easily could have offered option to prepare dishes with gluten-free soy sauce, but alas, no. That’s why I’ve marked down service in this review; server was gracious and appropriately attentive, but was caught off guard by the presence of someone who is gluten free. Seating could have used cushions. But if gluten is not an issue, this restaurant is to be treasured and visited often.

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OT
New York Area
1 review
Dined on September 15, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Really loved this place. Innovative take on Japanese cuisine. The grilled romaine was awesome. Really enjoyed the smashed potatoes, too.

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NB
1 review
Dined on August 16, 2018
Overall 4food 5service 4ambience 1

The food here was exceptional; everything was memorably delicious. But the dining experience was made a lot less pleasant because the noise level was extermely high. If I come back, I will make a point of coming at a much earlier hour in hopes of being able to have a real conversation with my dining companion.

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MW
New York Area
5 reviews
Dined on August 16, 2018
Overall 4food 5service 5ambience 3

Service and food were excellent. The only complaint is that when the restaurant got busier the noise level was too loud. I couldn't hear my companion, which was frustrating. They need insulation for sound!

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JA
New York Area
6 reviews
Dined on August 2, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Amazing inventive cuisine, prepared and served with great care and consideration.

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OT
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on July 28, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Such an amazing experience. It truly gives you that “home away from home” vibe.

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s
New York Area
9 reviews
Dined on July 27, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Fantastic food and service in a cozy but modern space. Go with a group so you can try lots of things, you won’t regret it. In particular, the fried chicken, the rice “cracker” toasts, the sardines, and the smashed potatoes were standouts. Stellar sake selection also.

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s
New York Area
5 reviews
Dined on July 23, 2018
Overall 4food 5service 3ambience 3

Amazing food. Crispy rice and beans and shishito peppers were phenomenal

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d
New York Area
3 reviews
Dined on July 1, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Amazing food, creative modern take on classic Japanese flavors. Excellent service from the friendly staff in comfortable atmosphere makes this one of my favorite restaurants in downtown NYC.

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