Tag Archives: washu

Kow Cattle Company & Nobu 57

I’ve been holding off on talking about Kow Cattle Company for a bit, hoping to visit the farm and facilities out in Iowa first, but I’ve been privileged to eat so much of it in the past year that I just couldn’t hold back anymore – especially after the beef binge I just had with their product at Nobu 57.

Kow Cattle Company is a small producer of highly marbled, domestically raised wagyu full blood and purebred animals in Iowa. They’re consistently raising cattle that grade out at super high prime, with BMS scores of 8 or higher.

They made a big splash in the NYC meat scene and made some great connections both in the restaurant world and in the influencer world.

Some noteworthy folks who are featuring their product fairly regularly: BLT Steak, Delmonico’s, The Grill, The James Beard House, The Gotham Burger Social Club, Bistrot Leo, Boucherie, and, of course Nobu 57 (and more as well).

 

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Supply isn’t always high at Kow, so if you see some on a menu, grab it while you can.

My first run-in with this delicious stuff was at Bistrot Leo. I tried a burger, some tenderloin tartare, filet skewers and a tomahawk rib eye that night. As you might imagine, the shit was delicious.

 

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One of the owners of the company, Jon Urbana, who has since become a good friend of mine, sent me home with a beautiful strip steak to cook up:

Later, I banged out a tomahawk at home as well. Absolutely stunning.

The high quality, and more importantly the consistency of that quality, is pretty much untouched by any domestic producer of wagyu beef here in the states. I’d love to get some of it into my shop, but they’re currently only shipping direct from their site. Believe me, a LOT of distributors are trying to get their paws on this stuff right now. I’m not alone.

In any case, seeing that Nobu 57 is one of Kow’s purveyors here in NYC, Jon brought me there to try some of the new lot of striploin that they have.

What occurred was nothing less than a Kow Cattle Company strip loin omakase for the ages.

COURSE 1

This preparation is thinly sliced, torched and sauced with ponzu and some sesame, rare to raw. Simple and delicious.

COURSE 2

Beef nigiri sushi. This had a quick sear on the edges, rare to raw.

COURSE 3

Tataki. One of my favorites. Thin sliced after being seared on the edges, rare to raw, and then lightly dressed and garnished with some ginger and shiso.

COURSE 4

This was my favorite. This was seared on the edges as well, rare to raw, but sliced a bit thicker and garnished with a black garlic sauce and some micro sprouts. Incredible.

COURSE 5

This was similar to sukiyaki, a saucy stew with onions and greens. Really tasty, and it demonstrates that even when cooked through, this stuff is tender and savory.

COURSE 6

Classic steakhouse fare here: seared and sliced, rare to medium rare, served with a garlic miso butter on a bed of grilled asparagus. Perfection.

COURSE 7

Foie gras and wagyu beef potsticker dumplings. So decadent, and they ate almost like soup dumplings with that burst of liquified foie and wagyu renderings.

I think that covers it. When you go to Nobu 57, you’ll find Kow on the “washu” side of the menu. Ask about some of the preparations you saw here, because they’re not always on the menu. If you know about them, they may accomodate you if they have the ability. Some stuff is limited availablility, so go early and go often.

NOBU 57
40 West 57th Street
New York, NY 10019

Kobe Beef from Japan

So it happened… I got my hands on some real-deal Japanese Kobe beef! These are strip loin / New York strip steak cuts, to be precise. Click HERE for the product page in the shop.

I had my guys portion these out so that they’re not too insane on the wallet. Jump on them now and you can get 8oz for $100 (down from $125). Not too bad for the rarity of this beef.

I feel like a half pound is the perfect size for this (you can share with another person, too; 4oz each). Why such a small portion? Because it eats more like foie gras than beef. It’s so tender, so uniform in texture, so juicy, and so rich with delicious, melt-in-your-mouth fat, that you may want a reprieve after a few ounces.

You may want to mix up the textures with another cut. If that’s the case, my suggestion is this: grab one of these, one domestic wagyu strip, and one dry-aged prime porterhouse. Have yourself a taste-off and see which you like the best.

MY BUTCHER SHOP

Bohemian

Bohemian is a dine-by-referral-only joint on Great Jones Street that’s nestled in the back of a high-end butcher shop called Japan Premium Beef. My wife scored a referral to eat here through one of her friends, so we set up a meal with her sister and her sister’s husband to celebrate their anniversary and sample as much as we could fit in our stomachs.

We started with a bunch of cocktails, which are all really great and unique. We tried about seven or eight over the course of the meal. Here are a few pics of some of them:

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They have a great selection of hard-to-find Japanese beers too:

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Plates here are small and pricey, but very good. We started with this poke bowl that consisted of high grade tuna, soy, sesame and micro greens. Absolutely delicious and super fresh.

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Next up was the wagyu short rib sashimi. This had great fat content and was super tender. Each piece gets topped with a little bit of wasabi and fried garlic slices.

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This fois gras sushi with aged balsamic and sea salt was incredibly decadent, but pricey at $17 for the pair:

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My favorite of the starter items were these wagyu beef tartare squares, served on blue cheese stuffed toasted grilled cheese. The cheese was mild and didn’t overwhelm the awesome flavors of the beef. Add a bit of dijon from the smear on the plate and you’re set.

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This mac and cheese is served with a tomato butter toast that is out of this world. The mac itself is perfect in every way: creamy, smooth and topped with a crunch.

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This slab of bacon was a bit chewy in the part that I had. My wife had a better experience with her piece. The good bits were super tasty though, so maybe the slab itself was just a little inconsistent.

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And why not have a pair of wagyu mini burgers with pecorino? They were perfectly cooked to medium rare, and served with some pickles for good measure.

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The miso black cod was really nicely cooked, but a bit on the small side in terms of portion.

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We regretted not going with the branzino when we saw that it was a beautifully presented whole fish and smelled like charcoal. But I wasn’t too worried because we were about to eat some fantastic wagyu beef. We started with a trio of beef (3.5oz each) that contained flatiron steak, culotte (top sirloin cap) and skirt. We liked them from best to worst in that order. I’ll review them now in the same order.

The flatiron was buttery and tender, cooked perfectly to medium rare and came in, for me, at an easy 9/10 for flavor.

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The culotte was similarly buttery, but a bit tougher in texture. It reminded me of strip loin, but a little less grainy. 7/10.

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I wish I had used a knife to cut these skirt steak bits a little smaller because they were too tough in the size that was served to us. They were cooked perfectly, but just lacked a bit on the flavor and texture fronts. 6/10.

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All of the beef was served with a small tray of sea salt that you could use to season as you saw fit. This was key, because otherwise the cuts were all a little too bland.

The last cut of beef we tries was a 10oz hanger steak. This was super tender and extremely delicious, and cooked absolutely perfectly with a great crust and a bright pinkish red center. 10/10. It was served on a mountain of potatoes that seemed to have been baked first, and then fried to a golden crisp on the outside. Awesome.

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Dessert was pretty nice too. We tried two ice creams: ricotta and strawberry balsamic. The strawberry was tart, but really nicely balanced between the sweet aspect of it. It ate more like a sorbet at times. The ricotta was light and fluffy, more like frozen cheese or a semifreddo. The ricotta cheese flavor was definitely prominent. What was best was mixing these two flavors in each bite. It was like eating a delicious frozen strawberry cheesecake.

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Sorry for the shitty pics. At this point the lighting changed drastically in the joint, and I didn’t bother to fix my settings.

We also tried the trio dessert sampler, which consisted of creme brulee, matcha green tie cake and cheesecake.

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My favorite of the three was the creme brulee. It was really smooth and creamy.

BOHEMIAN
57 Great Jones St
New York, NY 10012