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Bbf is the new Mod Izakaya opened by Chikara Sono, late of Kyo Ya, on Ludlow Street right off Houston (if you're still hungry you can go next door to Katz's!).  The name is an abbreviation for "Brooklyn Ball Factory" (which makes you wonder what it's doing on the Lower East Side).

This place is going to be huge.  It's very good.  It's totally fun.  I don't think it's yet as good as it could be, and I'm sure it'll get better.  But it's very worth going to NOW.

This is clearly Chef Sono's attempt to go after The Youth.  The playlist is Alt Japanese Pop and Rock (great with this non-Youth!).  The atmosphere is boisterous.  The food is, if not whimsical, very far from straight-laced.

You start with some sushi "bombs":   sushi made with this device that makes each piece a little dome.  I had some squid with vinegar and a dab of beet paste on top.  It was tasty -- but not at all the exquisite gem we get at the top sushi bars in town.  This isn't that kind of place.

A veal sausage on bed of kraut with mustard:  very much a Japanese interpretation of a European dish, in that everything was done with extreme precision.  The risk of this kind of thing is that the precision will leach the soul out of the food, so it seems more like a parody than like something you'd want to eat.  But the upside, if it works, is that you get a really clear, clean expression of something you're very familiar with.  This worked.

And then a dish that showed what I think are the very real merits and the very slight defects of this place right now.  An abalone croquette, served in the shell, the meat cut up into cubes and surrounded by a kind of potato mush, topped with bread crumbs.  It was good, don't get me wrong.  But it might have been a bit too dainty, too nice for its own good.

See, the trad food at Kyo Ya was kind of perfect, because the hyper-precise approach is exactly what it called for.  Here, in a place going more for pure fun, it sometimes seems like the cooking is a little too technical for what they're doing.

All restaurants should have that problem!

The sour berry cake with vanilla ice cream for dessert was beyond praise.

The wine list is negligible.  The sake list is excellent.  The cocktails seem too weird on paper, but the one I had -- lemongrass-infused shochu, shiso, and tomato water -- was very refreshing and tasted very good.

I am POSITIVE this place will iron out what I, at least, perceive as its slight kinks.  I will certainly be back soon.  It's hard not to love it.

COMP DISCLOSURE:  Not a comp really, but when they saw how authoritatively and knowledgeably I was ordering -- and how much of a bar tab I was running up -- they invited me back to the kitchen to chat with Sono-San -- and, more pointedly, to show me the back room where they plan to start serving an Expensive Elaborate Omakase in the Fall.  I'm sure it'll be great -- I can't wait -- but I'll be back to the fun front-room izakaya many times before that.

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Bbf is the new Mod Izakaya opened by Chikara Sono, late of Kyo Ya, on Ludlow Street right off Houston (if you're still hungry you can go next door to Katz's!).  The name is an abbreviation for "Brookl

They'll offer a $190 rabbitfish!

A cluster show!

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The only menu I've found is for the Williamsburg location, and what you describe sounds very different from that. I'll probably swing by tomorrow, since (as usual) I got my dates wrong and the Arkestra is actually playing on Saturday. When I already have dinner plans with a friend who gets very surly if I try to move things around.

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1 hour ago, joethefoodie said:

The place, as much as I loved Kyo-ya, sounds as if it’s gonna be full of bromakaze wanna kaze bes. 

and you!

Isn't this much too cheap for them?  Do they really go to izakayas?

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19 minutes ago, Sneakeater said:

Isn't this much too cheap for them?  Do they really go to izakayas?

And from what I gather the tasting counter won’t be an omakase (not really his forte) but a kaiseki/kappo. The Bros don’t really go for that. 

We’ll be there tomorrow (or I suppose technically “tonight” as I write this) - as we were regulars at Kyo Ya this has been something we’ve been looking forward to awhile, with both eagerness and admittedly some trepidation. 

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I just woke up in what for me is the middle of the night thinking, shit, the back room won’t be serving an Expensive Elaborate Omakase but an Expensive Elaborate Kaiseki:  I’d better correct that.  But too late!   Back to sleep.  

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4 hours ago, joethefoodie said:

If you cook it, they will come!

Looking forward to what @Seth Gordon has to say; however, just from the location, I gotta think...shit show in a few months.

Hmm. I’m not getting a shitshow vibe (though I haven’t set foot inside yet) but which form of shitshow are we using? Are we talking Beauty & Essex shitshow or Shang shitshow?

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A restaurant that’s good, but that you can’t get into, isn’t a shitshow by definition.  It’s a clusterfuck. A shitshow has to be incompetent. By definition.

(And if you can’t eat at a place cuz you can’t get in, you can’t call it a shitshow cuz you can’t KNOW whether it’s bad or not.  It’s a clusterfuck.)

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