Thursday, March 22, 2012

Yu Bowl

Earlier this year, Yushi introduced a new concept - the Yu Bowl. It's like an Asian version of a Chipotle burrito bowl, except that you can only choose a specified number of items in each category (e.g., vegetable toppings) unlike Chipotle where you could get everything but guacamole for free in the bowl. When Yushi first started offering the bowl, they did a buy one get one free day that I couldn't go to, so I finally made my way over there to try it today on a beautiful spring afternoon.

In putting together the Yu Bowl, you move down the line through various stations (base, protein, vegetable, sauce, garnish) and your ending price depends on what meat you choose and how much (single portion, double, etc). I got brown rice and bok choy salad for my base (you can do half and half), chicken for my protein, tom tom cucumber slaw (cucumbers, carrots, cilantro), miso sticky eggplant and Szechuan green beans for my vegetable toppings (you pick 3), sweet chili sauce, and cilantro, spicy nuts, and chili peppers for garnishes (those are unlimited and I only skipped the coconut). The bowl ended up costing $8.45 pre-tax (they raised the prices since the opening of the Yu bowl bar), which is not that much more than a Chipotle bowl.

What I liked: lots of vegetables, good flavoring. I liked most of what I chose, thought the ingredients (all of which were seasoned differently and separately) for the most part worked well together, and definitely fulfilled my desire for vegetables.

What I didn't like: the miso eggplant. It was a little too sweet for my liking and didn't really fit with everything else in the bowl. I should have gone with the mushrooms or corn like I was originally thinking. But other than the eggplant, which I mostly ate separately, the rest was pretty good. It's not a huge portion but it was reasonably sized and good enough for me for lunch.

I would return and get the Yu Bowl again. It's more cost-efficient than any of their other items. Also, it's usually hard to find places with abundant vegetables at lunch that aren't salad places and this is a good answer for that craving.

Yushi has one downtown location and one midtown location. The midtown location that I visited for the Yu bowl is at 47th and Lexington.

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