Uni Sashimi Bar, an upscale Japanese restaurant owned by Ken Oringer, transforms into a late night, cheap eats noodle bar at 11pm each Thursday, Friday and Saturday. The late night dining option attracts a young, hip crowd, making it tough to get a seat if you don’t arrive early since seating is on a first come, first served basis.
Ken Oringer’s sashimi bar, Uni, is located downstairs from Clio in the Eliot Hotel on the corner of Massachusetts & Commonwealth Ave. The late night Ramen menu meticulously written in colored markers on cardboard combined with the flickering candlelight in this subterranean dining room, gives off a clandestine vibe and energy I don’t often see here in Boston.
I’m a noodle novice but even I was able to navigate the colorful menu with some helpful tips from the handsome waitstaff. Three bowls of ramen for $10 were featured (traditional, short rib & kimichi and gou kai – vegetarian). I opted for the short rib & kimichi (shown above) that arrived quickly in a beautiful steaming bowl with a poached egg that I poked to let the yoke mingle with the flavorful broth and tender chunks of short rib.
My friend Zoe and I also tried the Pork Bun and Shishito Peppers. The pork slider as I referred to it was out of this world delicious. The sriracha aioli, pickles and soft bun all work magic making the pork belly so good I could easily order a half dozen. If you go – you *must* try an order. Also tasty were the plate of fried sweet peppers, but nowhere near as addicting as the Pork Bun.
In the name of “research” we opted to try Uni’s ice cream sandwich of the night, which proved equally messy to eat as the Pork Bun, but every bit as delicious. The raspberry and lemon flavors added a refreshing end to this amazing dinner.
Reservations are not available so arrive early. This tiny Back Bay restaurant barely seats 40 and fills quickly so give your name to the host and grab a drink at Clio’s bar to wait to be seated when Uni reopens at 11:00pm; its worth the wait and you’ll enjoy some excellent people watching – I promise.
Uni is located inside Clio Restaurant at the Eliot Hotel at 370 Comm. Ave.