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Bizen Gourmet Japanese Cuisine - 18 Reviews - 17 Railroad St, Great Barrington, MA - People Watching Reviews - Phone (413) 528-4343

Bizen Gourmet Japanese Cuisine

17 Railroad St
Great Barrington, MA 01230
(413) 528-4343
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Michael is the most innovative and creative Japanese chef in the Northeast (yes, this includes NY). I give this restaurant a 5-star, hands down. Just had my 50th birthday there wi...


Its a shame that the attitude emanating from the sushi bar can take decent food down to a below-average review. Either you are ignored completely or you sit there while the sus...

Great sushi, s--l--o--w service. 12/4/2011

The sushi keeps me coming back, but the service is declining (and it wasn't great to start with). Doesn't matter if you go on a crowded or slow night...expect to wait 30-50 minutes for sushi to arrive at your table. If your party is 4+ people, expect 15-20 minutes to elapse between first person receiving sushi and the final person. I dined with three friends tonight (a slow Sunday night). One person received sushi while the remaining three of us waited for 15 minutes. Waitress kept promising it was on it's way. This has happened the last three times I've dined at Bizen. The issue is not wait staff, it's the unbelievable inefficiency behind the sushi bar. Used to be my favorite place. more

Pleasant surprises! 10/13/2010

Only good experiences at Bizen for me on several occasions. When I sat at the sushi bar counter after skiing, feeling hungry and tired, Michael seemed to pick up on all the above and took care of me. Another time sat near the front window, met some nice patrons, waited for my companion, was again well taken care of by the waitress. I don't recall the wait being overly long; I do have a bit of saki before dinner, perhaps i then am more tranquil. I do happen to enjoy the atmosphere, the people around me, and then of course what i have found to be the delectable food. Have I found a dish or two not to my liking? Of course, but that happens anywhere one goes. On the other hand, there have been most pleasant surprises! \r Bizen is always a welcome pleasant punctuation to my drives from West Hartford to the Berkshires. Hope the foliage still intense (and if not?), heading up this weekend. more

Simply the best!! 12/8/2009

Michael is the most innovative and creative Japanese chef in the Northeast (yes, this includes NY). I give this restaurant a 5-star, hands down. Just had my 50th birthday there with friends and they put on an unbeatable feast. Very reasonably priced, and amazing food. I can't even imagine that someone could have given them a negative review - not possible in my book. Pros: Awesome vegetarian fare Cons: can be loud more

Incredible 6/15/2009

Having been to Japan and enjoying some of the greatest sushi ever, it is so refreshing to know it I here in the states on the east coast. They actually pride themselves on thier local organic ingredients. No SUGAR added to the sushi, which makes it milder, but well-picked fish and ingredients bring a flavor that no other sushi restaurant in the US will ever have. more

Not worth a drive from anywhere 5/18/2009

Well I don't see why anyone would recommend this place. Plain wooden tables, uncomfortable wooden chairs, smallest portions of sashimi I've ever seen and all the fish seemed to be flavorless. The only 'bright' side was we were still hungry when we went to Guido's Market and we bought quite a bit. Pros: Non Cons: Small portions, overpriced, no atmosphere, food nothing spec more

Will not return 9/15/2008

August 2008\r My husband, daughter and myself recently had dinner at Bizen. We had not been in some time and we will probably not return. We have had many delicious meals over the years at Bizen. Despite the fact that we had reservations, we three were seated at a table for two. I do not feel that diners should have to negotiate a table leg while dining. Our food was far below the standard that were had come to know at Bizen. The avocado in the sushi was so unripe as to render it tasteless. I had a bowl of soba in broth with tempura. The broth was so tasteless, that I asked for some tempura sauce to put the soba in. \r When the bill arrived we told our waitress what we thought of the meal. Actually, it must have been obvious since so much of it was uneaten. Her reply was, sorry. This response told me that no one was really interested if we had enjoyed the meal or not. Pros: If the food is not good, no pros from me Cons: food not what it used to be more

It starts at the top..... 7/20/2008

Its a shame that the attitude emanating from the sushi bar can take decent food down to a below-average review. Either you are ignored completely or you sit there while the sushi chef talks over your head to his friends. And should you order to take-out and ask, after arriving on time and waiiting 40 minutes (and seeing that your order has not even begun to be prepared) you revieve icy scowls. The stafff is willing and knowledgeable, but the attitude flowing from the sushi chef/owner at the sushi bar is insufferable. And I am not going down the road of, :""its not like we are at Nobu,"" since anyone who has dined at a first rate sushi bar knows that the better the food the more congenial and transcendant the chef. The fish is fresh, the preparation adequate, but the hubris . . . . Pros: willing and knowledgeable staff Cons: hubris level at the sushi bar is almost comical more

Kaiseki is wonderful 8/1/2007

My wife and I enjoyed this place very much. We were born and brought up in Japan, so I believe we know what authentic Japanese food should look like, taste like, as well as how Japanese restaurant should look like. It is as if people born in U.S. appreciate the truly authentic hamburgers, and all those nice American foods. Having said that, we found this place was probably the first restaurant where we truly enjoyed Kaiseki (Japanese course dishes) and sushi all together. Important trick is, you probably have to make an appointment with the head chef, though I believe all other chefs must have high skills under his management. Later on, we found he got his culinary discipline in one of the most prestigious and most strict restaurant and apprenticed in the top-ranked clans. No wonder he makes such fantastic dishes. Pros: Nice atomosphere, great food truly worthy of your money Cons: Far away. The head chef may be busy and may not always available more

Ordinary at best 4/1/2007

The sushi here is forgettably average, and for all the lip service about bring Japan to the Berkshires, the experience is so unlike a Japanese sushi restaurant. It's noisy and the service can be slow without any hint of concern. We have sat at the sushi bar twice and I don't believe the chef ever even made eye contact with us. Instead he was having an across-the-room conversations with a friends sitting at the tables. Sorry, Jack, that's not why I sit at the bar. They should call it The Sushi Depot or something. more

small quantities of food, overpriced, and slow service 12/30/2006

Bizene is a bad place to go. If you have small children they will start winning. If you like slow service you should go to Bizene. But if you like amazing acrobatics in hand motion you should go to Shiro. This is the worst sushi I've ever eaten. They litterily changed the price almost everything. I looked on the online menu and they changed the price everything. This was the first time in my life that I had to pay 112$ for 3 people.\r This place suckes more than any place I have gone to. Once again if you want good sushi and amazing handyword for habachi go to Shiro Sushi right near the bowling alley in Great Barrington. When my mother called they said it waould take 45 minutes but when my dad got there they said he had to wait another 30 minutes just to get it. I ordered soup salad and about 9-11 pieces of sushi and my brother ordered soup salad and 8-9 pieces of sushi and my mom got salad and 10-14 pieces of sushi and it costed 112$. The is overpriced, has slow service and small quantities of food. For the last time go to Shiro (in a japenese accent.) Cons: slow service,overpriced, and lousy food more

Great great food....BUT 8/19/2006

Great great food...too bad the service never never matches.\r So so sad.\r If they fixed that, all would be well.\r more

Bizen Sushi The Best Around 6/17/2006

I don't understand these bad reviews!! Look, GOOD sushi takes time. Or stick to the fast food you eat the other 6 days of the week. My 8 yr old had the best time there. The inside is beautiful the tables are set apart enough so you are not cramped in any way. Guess what? Its not just YOUR favorite place so try a technique I call the reservation.. You may find it helpful. The staff are friendly...just be patient. You are not at Burger King on your lunch hour. Sushi is an art and for godness sake try something other than the California Roll. Ask the staff. Tell them you are in the mood for something new. Stop swimming with the Salmon! Eat some insead. Paige Ellen Pros: Great Sushi!!! Cons: Good sushi can take longer. Its worth it. more

Crowded, noisy, not great food 6/9/2006

Why such a fuss about Bizen? They have 2-3 sauces they drag out and put on everything so it all tastes the same. Their special dinner in their special section was a series of dishes of rubber fish floating in salt soup. Instead of using broths and reductions everything is highly salted, nothing subtle here, and Japanese food (at least in Japan) is all about subtlety. Furthermore the place is too highly lit and noisy. more

Not what it used to be 3/10/2006

This place used to rock. Seems they got a bit too complacent. 45 minutes after ordering sushi, 15 minutes after my wife finished her bento box, I was told there's a big back-up on sushi, probably an hour. A sushi place that can't handle sushi orders, something fishy...Not to mention that NO ONE, including the owner is too apologetic! more

Best Sushi ever, obnoxious wait staff 10/28/2005

This is my favorite sushi in the world. I have been all over the world and eaten sushi in any place I could. I live in NYC and have sushi many times a week but I still crave Bizen and hail it as my all time favorite. The head sushi chef and owner is very special and loves his craft. You can taste it in the creativity of his rolls. The one hold up is that a majority of the wait staff are pretentious jerks. But if you can ignore them the food will make up for it. Its worth it. Oh...and make a reservation. Pros: Creativity, Quality, Taste Cons: Snobby Staff more

Very Slow Service 8/15/2005

I waited over 35 minutes for a roll and two pieces of sushi... I wanted to have another piece of sushi, unfortunately the chef refused to serve me, after waiting for 10 minutes... Not a good place for lunch by yourself. Cons: Poor Service, Unfriendly Staff more

amazing experience at bizen 7/16/2005

Great experience. My friends and I believe this sushi restaurant to be one of the best in the North East. Once you enter the second half of this place you feel like you have entered small Japanese village. Beautiful Bizen ceramics highlight the experience. After going here you will not want sushi anywhere else! more

Bizarre Bizen 9/16/2002

Cramped tables, offish service, unknowledgeable wait staff that appears to be doing you a favor to be there!!! more
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  • In Short
    Bizen Sushi serves premium sushi and traditional Japanese food in a relaxed yet fashionable setting. Three tatami rooms, furnished with mats and shoji screens, create a calming...

  • 8/3/2004 Provided by Citysearch

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