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Omi is gone (for now) - where next?

Hey all -
While John finds a new home for his Omi establishment (decided not to renew his lease in search of a more permanent abode), I am left with a huge sushi void. I was wondering if anyone who's been a big fan of Omi has found anything comparable both in quality of fish? People have said Ki is the place to be - but others, who have enjoyed Omi as much as I have, were very dismissive.

Any (downtown) suggestions would be very much appreciated! I'm certainly going to miss Omi while it's gone (though his catering business is still up and running).

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  1. Japango on Elizabeth south of Dundas.

    1. Ichiriki Japanese Restaurant - 10 mins walk north of Omi on Bloor.

        1. when is he shutting the doors?! or am I too late?

          2 Replies
          1. re: s0memale

            i'd appreciate some elaboration as well... has he already shut down or is he closing soon?

            1. re: pinstripeprincess

              closed. windows are papered up.


          2. My life is over as I know it. NO one comes close to John Lee. I only pray he stays in Toronto.

            Does anyone have a phone # for the catering business? If that's the only way for now then that's what I will do.

            1. Here's as much of the skinny as I know:

              Yes the catering business is still up and running. You can contact Omi Sushi Catering through the same # listed for Omi at Yellowpages.ca. Minimum order would be for about 10-15 people. 416-920-8991

              However, about now-ish John's taking a much needed two week vacation. When he returns he'll be scouting locations. He will remain in downtown Toronto (thank goodness).

              Personal Hope: C'mon Cabbagetown!!! Come to MA-maaaa.

              2 Replies
              1. re: Googs

                I read in Now that he had a place lined up on Parliament, but the deal fell thru.

                1. re: Dimbulb

                  Gosh, I didn't realize it was NOW-worthy. I didn't mention the deal that fell through lest anyone think either the buyer or seller weren't dealmakers. Made me too uncomfortable. Now that the ship has sailed, yes it fell through for reasons well beyond the control of both parties. There's a chance it may come together again. Fingers & toes crossed here.

              2. im at work at 2am and i need OMI back in my life... Japango was crap insofar as their omakase was sparse and contained ZERO rolls [is that usual?] I did notice one of his understudys, who will go unnamed, went there.

                I've heard Blowfish is a waste of money. There was one other place downtown but I forget the name .. around Bathurst/King as well? Anyone else vouch for Ichiriki (aside from skylineR33)?

                6 Replies
                1. re: dudebrah

                  Rolls are traditionally considered cheap and filler... I don't believe they're usually served by the chef when given a decent budget. I personally thought the omakase at Japango to be more interesting than the one at Omi (and the people at Japango also were more personable).

                  1. re: dudebrah

                    I believe you are thinking of Toshi Sushi at Bathurst and King.

                    Blowfish is great. Not a waste of money in my opinion, but not traditional sushi, if that's what you're looking for.

                    1. re: dudebrah

                      the rise in price at japango made my last visit to omi seem that much better. i used to prefer japango because they were slightly more cost effective but my loyalties have changed a bit.

                      that being said... i've only left stuffed from japango for an omakase and sparse certainly would not be how i would describe it. i think that my experiences at omi were more creative but the variety i have received at japango was amazing. i have never received rolls from omi for their omakase but have had one or two from japango. they tend to serve you nigiri and sashimi which i would much more prefer as it allows me to really enjoy the fresh fish for what it is.

                      1. re: dudebrah

                        I've not had omakase at Ichiriki but the fish is always excellent there.

                        1. re: Teep

                          I also agree that Ichiriki is very good. Have not had the omakase either, though.

                          I'm also a big fan of Takesushi. I find it very consistent on serving a good quality fish.

                          1. re: JDJay

                            I would pass on Ichiriki. After a lot of hype from Japanese friends, we tried it and found that the sushi was 'average' to say the least. Outside of the uni, it just seemed very flat. Has anyone else had a similar experience there ?

                            The restaurant also had no atmosphere at all, the sushi chef seemed totally unfriendly and the waitresses on an average night took four requests to provide us with green tea.

                            My better half, who is Japanese, was pretty disappointed as was I.

                            We'll be checking out Toshi Sushi at King and Yonge. Apparently it's great.