Sushi with great decor, good food, reservations...
I'm going to be visiting Boston soon and am looking to go out for sushi with friends. We're willing to spend for great sushi, but a slick/upscale environment is just as important for this gathering. I've been reading a lot of the (great) sushi threads here, but not knowing the Boston area restaurants, I'm having trouble getting a sense of which ones are also truly great sit down environments vs places that turn out amazing sushi but that are holes in the wall inappropriate for such a rare gathering of friends from lots of places. For this gathering, we'll want a place that takes reservations too...
Any suggestions? Thanks!
I recommend Douzo. It's delicious, sleek, hip, swanky. Admittedly, I somehow always end up there on nights when I am feeling the dumpiest (on the way to a World Series Sox game so wearing a frumpy Red Sox sweatshirt, after a day of intense shopping, on any given Tuesday) but no matter how out of place I've looked crossing the threshold into the place, even a lame outfit cannot deter me from their fabulous food. If you are looking to get dressed up hip-casual, drink a delicious vodka based cocktail, and eat some amazing raw fish, Douzo is the spot. It's on Dartmouth right by Back Bay station & Copley mall, so also centrally located.
Not to be missed: wild salmon nigri, the spicy tuna roll (a usually good but pedestrian roll but theirs is amazing), & both sea& water eel.
I would recommend Fugakyu. If you do a search on this board, there should be a lost of posts about it. In sum though, it fits your criteria. Maybe not the best sushi but definitely really good and the place looks extremely nice as well. They have those little private rooms (the ones with the slide doors where you take off your shoes to eat) that you can try to get if you're going with a few friends.
Hi Garris - I always appreciate your RI posts!
You and your group might like Haru, a new place on Huntington that's part of a small East Coast chain but the quality sounds high (I have only peeked my head in and it certainly seems to have the ambience you are seeking).
Haru Restaurant & Sushi Bar
55 Huntington Ave, Boston, MA 02199
To me, Oishii and O Ya are far and away the tastiest and trendiest (not to mention most jaw-droppingly expensive) sushi places in Boston. I think the sushi is spectacularly inventive at both, using both interesting ingredients and interesting techniques (black roe, torch maki). The decor at each is very urbane. Both now take reservations, O Ya by phone, Oishii by OpenTable.
If money is truly no object, I'd say go for the omakase at O Ya, which will also give you some interesting cooked fare like wagyu beef and foie gras. Oishii, a bit more sushi-oriented, is also very expensive, but not quite on the order of O Ya.
A strong second for O Ya, especially if there are few enough of you so you can sit at the sushi bar. That particular one can do a small crowd comfortably (maybe six in a group) because it's on a corner. Nice atmosphere that at first gives you a too cool for school vibe, but gets really comfortable with the friendly service, the sake sommelier concept seems a little tacky at first but it works well for me as a sake newbie.
It's not cheap, I'd budget $150 or so each (includes omakase and a bottle and a half of sake each or so), maybe up to $75-100 more depending upon alcohol consumption and appetites, $50+ less for non-drinkers. Someone let me know if that seems off.
I'm surprised that Uni has not yet been mentioned. It's in the same space as Clio, just down a few steps from the bar. One of my favorite omakase experiences. In a similar price range as O Ya, but if I was splurging on sushi it would be a choice between O Ya and Uni. I don't think you can go wrong with either. (There is no places link for Uni, so I've added Clio)
370-A Commonwealth Avenue, Boston, MA 02215
Douzo, Oishii, and O Ya all fit the bill. (listed in order of cost)
I have had several outstanding meals at O Ya, but left feeling like it is just too overpriced after my last few visits.
Douzo is a bit more lively than Oishii depending on what type of atmosphere you are looking for. However, Oishii has a slightly nicer space with. The quality of the fish at the two are comparable, as are the creative rolls. However Oishii, typically has several specials that will knock your socks off.
Great decor/good food; I'd say Douzo in Back Bay...good combo for a group of friends getting together..my choice based on your post.
Great decor/great food, Oya or Uni..more "serious" food..less lively atmospheres.