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I want to try Omakase. Please help.

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travelbug2225 Aug 25, 2007 01:05 PM

I heard about Omakase but never try it. My husband and I love sushi. I think Omakase will be a good experience for us. I want to know which restaurant offer this and how much it cost. I live in Long Beach but I don't mind driving as long as the food is good. Thank you.

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  1. d
    Diana RE: travelbug2225 Aug 25, 2007 01:11 PM

    You are looking at $100-$200 or more per person, depending upon where. I live in Sherman Oaks, so i can't help you as to location except for near me.

    Urasawa is the best. it STARTS at abou $275 per person.

    I like Asanebo in Studio City, around $100 per person, or more. You can set a price limit of you call or talk to the chef before you start.

    Lot of people like Tama Susi in studio city, which can do an Omakase for around $85 per person for dinner, cheaper for lunch. I hear some other places do this, too.

    Although you don;t have to, it can be helpful to call ahead. Or jsut walk in. You can politely and quietly tell the chef or hot you have an upper limit per person. Both of you will probably have to get it if you go together. expect drinks to be extra, and tip is not included in your per person price.
    Actually, most Itames or sushi chefs will do an Omakase if you wish. It simply means you want him to give you what he feels is best. Some places have now developed a set Omakase menu, which is odd, as different fish may be better on different days. Sort of violates the whole idea of the thing. I like it to not be the same every time.

    This is not a "california, godzilla, spicy tuna, baked scallop" theme roll type of meal. Expect wonders of flavor, and follow the chef's instructions as to how to eat. best to just ignore the soy sauce bottle, the chef wil present your food exactly as he wants you to taste it.

    Have fun!

    1 Reply
    1. re: Diana
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      ns1 RE: Diana Aug 25, 2007 04:26 PM

      I like the Omakase @Sushi Masu in westwood. You can search for reviews there. For a medium sized meal w/o alcohol, me and the SO spent about 80 before tax/tip, and were very happy with the experience. Good value for the money, and he had some great cuts of fish and blew us away with the variety. And 40 bucks pp is fantastic.

    2. bodie RE: travelbug2225 Aug 25, 2007 02:38 PM

      Tama is a great place to try omakase, however Diana is incorrect, it is not $85/ person.

      Tama's menu offers 6 different omakase options ($30, $40 & $50 versions for sushi/ same 3 price points for sashimi). Of course, if you have scads of cash then you can just ask them to do a no-limit chef's choice.

      All that said, it is a hella long drive from Long Beach to the Valley and it seems to me that you are a lot closer to Sushi Zo than you are to sushi row.

      1 Reply
      1. re: bodie
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        Diana RE: bodie Aug 25, 2007 06:29 PM

        Tama for Omakase dinner, with tax, tip, parking and alcohol, will run about $80 per person.

      2. s
        silverlakebodhisattva RE: travelbug2225 Aug 25, 2007 03:25 PM

        The sushi bars at Gen and Takumi downtown both do omakase.

        Also, (almost forgot) Shibucho in Orange County, does wonderful omakase, at a very reasonable price..

        1. alanbarnes RE: travelbug2225 Aug 25, 2007 04:32 PM

          Just go to your favorite sushi place, sit at the bar, and say "omakase onegaishimasu." The chef will bring out his best stuff, and may even charge you less than if you ordered a la carte.

          6 Replies
          1. re: alanbarnes
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            travelbug2225 RE: alanbarnes Aug 26, 2007 09:01 AM

            Is all the sushi bar offer Omakase? Do we have to tell them upfront how much we willing to pay per person. I don't want a surprise when the bill come.

            1. re: travelbug2225
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              archer RE: travelbug2225 Aug 26, 2007 01:18 PM

              I think Tama is one of the better deals for omakase. As Bodie notes, you can choose one of the set omakase prices (30, 40 or 50) so that there are no surprises. I usually opt for the $40 omakase which is always delicious and a lot of food. The total bill for dinner for two when I go there for omakase (including usually 2 sakes per person) is never more than $120.

              1. re: travelbug2225
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                Diana RE: travelbug2225 Aug 26, 2007 02:00 PM

                As I said, often YOU can tell THEM your upper limit per person, a long as you do it quietly and politely. Most sushi bars will do Omakase, but only a few really shine at it.

                Where are you from, travelbug?

                1. re: Diana
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                  travelbug2225 RE: Diana Aug 26, 2007 09:06 PM

                  I'm from Thailand. I've been living here over 10 years. My husband and I love to travel and eat. We love to experience different foods and cultures. Sushi is one of our favorite.

                  1. re: travelbug2225
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                    Diana RE: travelbug2225 Aug 27, 2007 06:31 AM

                    Cool!

                2. re: travelbug2225
                  alanbarnes RE: travelbug2225 Aug 27, 2007 08:01 AM

                  Omakase isn't really something a restaurant "offers"; it's just a request that the chef pick your food. And I've never met a sushi chef who wasn't happy to oblige. It lets them show their talents--and the quality of the ingredients on hand that day--in the best possible light. Who wouldn't like that?

                  One reason I suggested going to a place you already know is that you'll have a handle on how much to expect to pay. If you normally eat 12 pieces of sushi each and drop around $50/person, you can assume that the damage will be in the same range when the chef is picking. Go to someplace new, and you may find that the average order of nigiri costs 5 times as much as at your local. THAT's when you're going to get a surprise when the bill comes.

                  Personally, I don't like the idea of the now-ubiquitous "omakase menu" with a fixed price. Assuming that every diner who orders it on a given day gets the same food, it seems a little like the lunch (not-so) special. Nothing wrong with maguro, hamachi, sake, and tai alongside chicken terriyaki and a salad, but presumably that's not the kind of experience you're looking for.

                  The best thing about letting the chef pick (IMHO) is that he will ask you what kind of thing you like, pay attention to your response to the food, and decide what to give you next based on that information. When you start to look like you've had enough (or say that you're getting full), he'll wind things down. And if you say that you want to spend $53.27 per person, he'll probably serve you $60 of food and hand you a bill for $53.27.

              2. SauceSupreme RE: travelbug2225 Aug 25, 2007 06:10 PM

                Kiriko has a lunch omakase for $32 which is excellent. Shibucho in Costa Mesa offers similar quality for about the same price.

                -----
                Kiriko
                11301 W Olympic Blvd Ste 102, Los Angeles, CA 90064

                Sushi Shibucho
                590 W 19th St, Costa Mesa, CA 92627

                7 Replies
                1. re: SauceSupreme
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                  bulavinaka RE: SauceSupreme Aug 25, 2007 08:11 PM

                  Hey Sauce, you're still the king of blogs... I think the add for Kiriko is off (if it's the one in West LA) - should be a five-digit add with a zip code of 90064... I think the 102 is the suite number... if this is the one in West LA, try the house-made ice cream for dessert...

                  1. re: bulavinaka
                    SauceSupreme RE: bulavinaka Aug 25, 2007 11:09 PM

                    Oops, found a bug. I did click on the right address, but it displays improperly. Time to go manual:

                    11301 W Olympic Blvd #102, Los Angeles, CA

                    It seems to be a problem with the gap between the # and the 102 that Google has listed.

                    bulavinaka, drop me a line -- my email is on my profile. I'm slowly trying to organize a Westside Chowhound meetup for all the homies that couldn't make it to Malo.

                    1. re: SauceSupreme
                      Foodandwine RE: SauceSupreme Aug 26, 2007 02:30 PM

                      Hey Sauce,
                      Like what you write. I am interested in the meet up. may I contact u..

                      1. re: Foodandwine
                        SauceSupreme RE: Foodandwine Aug 26, 2007 03:04 PM

                        F&W -- Certainly. Planning is still in its infancy, but of course the more the merrier. Maybe we'll invade a sushi shop and all have omakase!

                  2. re: SauceSupreme
                    westsidegal RE: SauceSupreme Aug 26, 2007 12:39 AM

                    if you go to kiriko and are determined to stay within budget, be aware that they will happily serve you additional items (such as the ice cream) which is not included in the omakase price, and they will not warn you that these are extra items.

                    if you go to sushi zo, there really is no set of items nor a set price. what you pay will depend on the cost of that day's items and on how much you eat.

                    1. re: SauceSupreme
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                      travelbug2225 RE: SauceSupreme Aug 26, 2007 08:59 AM

                      I heard that Shibucho is very hard to get a seat. Is it easier to get seating if we go for lunch or right after they open on the weekend compare to dinner time? Is the price cheaper for lunch or the same as dinner?

                      1. re: travelbug2225
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                        WBGuy RE: travelbug2225 Aug 27, 2007 10:29 AM

                        The easiest way to get a seat if you call ahead and make a 5:30 (or 6pm at the latest) reservation for a counter seat. This is when they open.

                    2. p
                      Pancee RE: travelbug2225 Aug 26, 2007 06:16 AM

                      I recommend 2 options:

                      Sassabune on wilshire- probabably over $100

                      there's also Kan Pai in Westchester. what's great is it's a custom Omaskase. Paul is the head waiter and he will tailor a omakase to your likes. He'll ask about preferences etc and determine a menu according to your tastes

                      1. m
                        marlane RE: travelbug2225 Aug 26, 2007 10:31 AM

                        Something in yiur neighborhood (or close) to get you staret is Sushi Ken, a 32 per person for 14 pieces. This is very fresy suhsi but no frills.
                        www.sushiken.jp/la-siten.html

                        Second Sasabune. I have eaten there at least a dozen times and have yet to be disappointed.

                        Matsuhisa in Bev Hills if you really want to spoil yourself and make it an occassion. IRRC about 150/pp.

                        Had omakase at Yuzando in West LA the other night. It was fantastic; no idea what it costs b/c I did not pick up the check.

                        Sawtelle just south of Olympic is like a mini Japan town and many great sushi spots. Hide is renowned but I do not like the atmosphere. Cah only.

                        Hope this helps

                        3 Replies
                        1. re: marlane
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                          travelbug2225 RE: marlane Aug 26, 2007 10:53 AM

                          You said 14 pieces. Is that mean you get 14 different type of fish or only 7 type of fish serve 2 per order.

                          Seem like you have a lot of experience on Omakase. Do you think it is money well spent compare to you order out from the regular menu?

                          Are the fish they serve different than what on the menu?

                          1. re: travelbug2225
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                            Diana RE: travelbug2225 Aug 26, 2007 02:02 PM

                            OMakase is money well spent. Sometimes it is cheaper than a la carte.

                            Sometimes they will give you something off them menu or what the chef saves for his "special" clients.

                            In any sushi bar, it helps to be a regular!

                            1. re: Diana
                              alanbarnes RE: Diana Aug 27, 2007 08:33 AM

                              Amen. Get to know the chef at your local, and you can count on getting top ingredients prepared carefully with your personal tastes in mind.

                        2. Basewall RE: travelbug2225 Aug 26, 2007 01:55 PM

                          Hokusai in Beverly Hills is a great place, checkout the LA Times article in June. Ask for Tiger and have him take care of you.

                          1. f
                            Food Good RE: travelbug2225 Aug 26, 2007 04:01 PM

                            Azami on Melrose has $35 or $45 Omakase. The owner has her own fish business too, so the selections are superior to most places and cheaper. Also, the place has a cozy neighborhood feel without the trendies or the uptight feeling that the chef is judging you!

                            Delightful and helpful, the lovely ladies at Azami will guide you through.

                            Reservations unless you show up early - I recommend the bar for extra attention.

                            Closed Sun/Mon.

                            6 Replies
                            1. re: Food Good
                              meganinlosfeliz RE: Food Good Aug 26, 2007 04:39 PM

                              Agree - was there last night and it was $46 a person and just fantastic.

                              Two reviews I've done from this year (w/ pics) -
                              http://meganinlosfeliz.blogspot.com/s...

                              I like how each piece of fish (you are served one at a time) is dressed a different way that really highlights the fish. I am a big fan of yuzu, and she has been using that a bit more since we told her how much we love it. DEFINITELY sit at the bar.

                              Incidentally, ate at Tama (omakase at the bar) last week and was extremely disappointed. Thought the sashimi omakase was an embarrassment (and a ripoff), and the chef throwing stuff down in front of you without even telling you what it is was not what I am accustomed to. The sushi was fine, but not blockbuster. I will for sure not be returning.

                              1. re: meganinlosfeliz
                                SauceSupreme RE: meganinlosfeliz Aug 26, 2007 04:45 PM

                                Were you sitting with Katsu-san at Tama?

                                1. re: meganinlosfeliz
                                  holleygolitely RE: meganinlosfeliz Aug 26, 2007 04:47 PM

                                  Sushi Sushi on South Beverly Drive has amazing omakase. Even someone new to the idea will love it, as Shige, the chef, mostly features the freshest, high quality fish, simply prepared. Don't miss the seared toro sushi!

                                  1. re: meganinlosfeliz
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                                    Diana RE: meganinlosfeliz Aug 26, 2007 04:52 PM

                                    I had the same disappointing experience at Tama. Others on here swear by it, though...

                                    1. re: meganinlosfeliz
                                      meganinlosfeliz RE: meganinlosfeliz Aug 26, 2007 07:29 PM

                                      I was not told the names of either sushi chef, but it was clear we didn't have the head guy. We were seated in the dead center of the sushi bar. There was no one in front of us. Katsu-san (I assume) was the man on the one side, tending to 3 people, while the guy on the other side placed dishes in front of us.

                                      I guess that is the good thing about other sushi places I like - you don't have to worry the "wrong" chef will make your food.

                                      However, I can't imagine it would have mattered when it came to the sashimi, which was one platter with three thickly sliced pieces of 5 or so types of fish. Looked like something you get at a mediocre sushi place when you order a platter of sashimi - no idea where the "omakase" in that was. And it was like $50. Give me a break, Tama! We were all extremely annoyed and felt ripped off by that.

                                      1. re: meganinlosfeliz
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                                        archer RE: meganinlosfeliz Aug 26, 2007 11:01 PM

                                        That's too bad about Tama. I've always had wonderful sushi there & good experiences w/ the omakase (& have not always been served by Katsu-san). However, I've never tried the sashimi omakase; my experience has only been w/ the sushi (as well as w/ some small cooked dishes). Maybe Tama's speciality is sushi & one needs to go across the street to the excellent Asanebo for sashimi (which is much pricier though).

                                  2. m
                                    MeowMixx RE: travelbug2225 Aug 27, 2007 10:56 AM

                                    Sushi Zo, of course.

                                    9824 National Blvd,
                                    Los Angeles, CA 90034
                                    310) 842-3977

                                    1. t
                                      travelbug2225 RE: travelbug2225 Nov 17, 2007 04:15 PM

                                      I went to Sushi Shibucho 2 weeks ago. I have to said that was one of the best sushi I ever have. I went there around 8.15 pm on Saturday. When I called in, the guy who answer the phone said he didn't think that I can get a seat tonight. But we already on our way there, so we decide to take a chance. Lucky, that we get a table. The wife was so nice and friendly. We order Omakase which was so good. We got to have 2 Toro each. At the end I wan to order more Toro but it was out. Toro was kind like melt in your mouth.

                                      The only thing that I was disappointed was we got the sushi omlett with our Omakase. I thought it will be all fish.

                                      We can't stop talking about how wonderful the sushi was on the way home from Costa to Long Beach. We will definatley go back there again.

                                      Thank you everyone who told me about this restaurant. Now, it become one of our favorite. Such a wondeful experience.

                                      1 Reply
                                      1. re: travelbug2225
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                                        Jerome RE: travelbug2225 Nov 17, 2007 10:36 PM

                                        shibucho in costa mesa (and even the one on beverly, different owner etc) is one of the best in Souther California period.

                                        In general, sorry folks, if you're being told that there's a set omakase of $30, $40, and $50 - these are sushi specials and not real omakase. To get shibutani to go real deep omakase (shirako in season) he needs to know you a little bit. Continue going there, order as you will, ask for suggestions - and then let him go to town when he knows you.
                                        He will really surprise you.

                                        Many local places have seen an explosion in people asking for omakase and being satisfied with a sushi special selection. Seriously, a real selected omakase is going to run you more than a la carte. There's more work, more originality, and surprize!!!, if the place is really really busy, a chef can't really do the time-consuming work. Once at an omakase i had with kawasaki late of sushi go 55, he took a cucumber, carved it into a pine tree, and draped julienne cut squid over it like frost and snow.

                                        that's omakase.

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