Stopped in the other night for dinner and was very impressed. It's located on a deserted side street near South Station..definitely off the beaten path and you feel like you are finding a secret place.
Small intimate space, brick exposed walls, beautiful solid wood sushi bar..
We had 6 dishes from the nigiri/sashimi page and 1 cooked dish..and all were spectacular. We`sat at the bar (only place to sit IMO) and watched the chefs work...beautiful fish and interesting sauces/spices/herbs. There are probably 12 or more different squeeze bottles with different sauces.
One issue; if you go when they're not too busy..we were there about 7..you basically have a private chef. That's good; but the drawback is that you could probably be in and out in 1/2 hour to 45 mins. That may be a positive for some; but I like to spend a little more time enjoying a fine dinner...issue that's easily resolved..we sipped our sake and ordered the braised pork..but just something to be aware of. I'd drink more between courses and order more slowly next time..:) also bring a nice baguette to soak up some of the sauces..:)
As others have mentioned; it's expensive. Is it worth it? It's certainly not a "best value" but if you can afford it and enjoy Japanese food..yes. It's on a par with Uni price wise..and it's a more complete restaurant with a full kitchen. I don't think there's anywhere else in Boston except Uni to get the fish and creative preparations that are available here. The ingredients they are using are expensive..qualifier..I haven't been to Oishii SE yet.
I checked an old cc bill..and almost to the $, it was the same price as a recent "dinner" in South Beach where we had a few apps at the bar at David Bouley's new restaurant in the Ritz..Japanese menu..and on to Nobu for a few more.
The service was excellent and the owners are very gracious...offering us a dessert of sparkling sake.
I could write more but I put some comments on my pic site..
Excellent! Love the pics. Glad you liked it as much as we did. I loved that Kinmedai. I'm going to have to try that hamachi with the Viet mignonette the next time we go.
I've been a few times already.
Must-have dishes IMO:
Hamachi nigiri with banana-pepper mousse
Diver scallop sashimi with sage tempura, olive oil bubbles and Meyer lemon
Otoro with anything (the "lots of scallions" version is a nice choice)
Spot prawn with white soy, garlic butter, preserved yuzu and microgreens
Daikon "dumpling" with miso-nut filling
Even the fried zucchini is perfectly rendered, dotted with wasabi, scallions, peppers, etc.
I wasn't bowled over by:
Hamachi with viet sauce
Tonkatsu with foie and celeriac puree
$15-20 is a good range if you avoid the Waygu beef section. The beef goes considerably higher. There are a few less and toro will be more but that's a good range.
Everything we had was very good. Weakest dish was the sea urchin..There was nothing wrong with it but it didn't shine above most other sea urchin I've had and was inferior to Uni's version (name like Uni, you need great Uni) I had stopped in a week earlier and they had the urchin live in the shell..when we went, they didn't.
What I like to do is ask the sushi chef, "is there anything particularly good tonight?" I've always found that to work..and they will steer you what they know to be the best of the day. This works in any good sushi bar. I'm an avid fisherman and I like to look at the fish in the case (the scallops didn't "glow" so we passed) A good rapport with the sushi chef can make or break your meal.
Generally, everything is good but some things are going to be better than others.
At a place like O Ya, I leaned toward fish that I don't usually eat..like the kinmedai.
The daikon dumplings were fascinating. As for fish, I strongly recommend asking about what's best that day, and also having a look at the slabs of fish in the display case. I bet that the quality can vary; best to have the sushi chefs guide you to what's optimal.
The desserts are also interesting, and I certainly enjoyed what I had.