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Kamakura Is ‘Eccentric,’ ‘Imperfect,’ and ‘Impressive,’ Says Local Critic

Boston Globe critic Devra First reviews the downtown restaurant

Brian Pu Ruiz

Given The Improper Bostonian’s recent demise, formal restaurant reviews are few and far between in Boston these days, and thus Eater Boston’s “Week in Reviews” round-up has become less frequent and less full of reviews. But there’s a recent one worth checking out, especially for Japanese food lovers.

Devra First reviewed Kamakura for the Boston Globe earlier this month. The Japanese restaurant stirs excitement for First, and though it’s not perfect, she writes, it’s unlike any other restaurant in the city. There are numerous ways to eat at Kamakura, including an artful, multi-course kaiseki menu, a la carte options, and a bento lunch. “Kamakura is sincere, ambitious, and expensive — the sort of restaurant that opens often in larger cities but is harder for Boston to support,” First writes.

Kamakura has robata-grilled dishes like thin-sliced duck breast that’s “all primal smoke and chew” for First, and she recommends the hamachi pastrami and an “excellent” savory egg custard called chawanmushi. “One of Kamakura’s greatest strengths is its sake program,” First writes, and that’s where chef Youji Iwakura’s time as a sake sommelier shows through.

Overall, First gives Kamakura two and a half stars out of a possible four (between “good” and “excellent,”) writing that it’s “eccentric, imperfect yet filled with personality.”

In less formal, unstarred pieces, First has also eaten up a storm at two recent mega-openings, sharing some tips on what to try and what to avoid at the Encore Boston Harbor casino in Everett and at Time Out Market Boston in Fenway.

At Kamakura, Dinner is Part 10-Course Tone Poem, Part Sake Crash Course [BG]


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