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John Lee's Omi - The paper is off the windows

Gentlemen! Start... your... speed dialers!

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  1. so he's actually up and running or is it all a teaser sneak peak. would love to know if/when he might be having a grand opening.

    i might get to compare omi and zen in the same week!

    13 Replies
    1. re: pinstripeprincess

      False alarm. The paper's back up. Sigh.

      1. re: Googs

        lol - Really appreciate these updates Googs!

        1. re: Googs

          wonder if he's reading these posts and worrying that CHers are going to be knocking down his door and starting a riot if he's not open for business yet...

          When it eventually opens, can you please let me know what types of dishes he will be serving up? I have never tried Omi and would be interested in seeing what the hype is about. Not sure what I should try and would appreciate some direction from an experienced Omi-diner!

          TIA

            1. re: skylineR33

              Thanks skylineR33 - then it will be the same restaurant opening up again?

            2. re: BokChoi

              That link provides a rather myopic view of Omi.

              Yes, BokChoi, there will be many Hounds and many non-Hounds banging down his door when he returns.

              The best way to experience John Lee is to go omakase. Worth every penny you spend. He has a real penchant for reading people well and bringing their heart's desires. He bring many plates of varying styles that elevate the experience from course to course bringing it to a crescendo for the final plate. Unbelievably good.

              1. re: Googs

                Ahhh, so he will have an Omakase that has several different varying dishes with different preparation methods and accompaniments/marinades? Quite exciting. I would love to sample a multicourse Omakase by him, as I have heard many good things.

                Thanks Googs.

                1. re: BokChoi

                  What is the location of his new digs?

                  1. re: EarlyDrive

                    In the former home of the Town Grill at 243 Carlton St about 3 doors west of Parliament.

                      1. re: Googs

                        i am confused, is it on Carlton? I walked by an Omi on east side of Church street just south of Wellesley on my way to Kaiseki Sakura.

                        1. re: budeeez

                          That would be the former location....John Lee bailed from that location and apparently sold the name when he left. Lee's new location's name has not been shared as yet on this board.

                          1. re: T Long

                            The sign in the Carlton location says something like "the home of the new Omi" or some such thing. That's not to say that will be the name.

          1. Three weekends! Fingers crossed!

            3 Replies
            1. re: dlw88

              The Town Grill sign is finally gone. One or two more interior walls to finish. No new name yet...

              1. re: dlw88

                still that much longer? ah well... i have the memory of a zen experience to sate me and will hopefully be at kumai within the next few days.

              2. Judging from the latest progress report, looks like the door will open the first weekend of October. I know I'll regret sharing this as much as I will enjoy those that love him getting in early. Oh well. Save hubby and I a table will y'all?

                12 Replies
                1. re: Googs

                  Googs, I take it you will be one of the first ones lining up outside the doors this weekend then? Please let us know how you find the food! I am excited to hear your review.

                  Cheers

                  1. re: Googs

                    I'm not familiar with John Lee...what's the hype all about?

                    1. re: grandgourmand

                      If you're a sushi man, go omakase at Omi. You won't have to wonder any more. The holy trinity is Kaji, Omi, and Zen.

                      1. re: Googs

                        Will do. My wife is going to deliver soon, so sushi's back on the menu. I'm sure she'll appreciate it.

                        1. re: Googs

                          May I suggest adding Aoyama to your Trinity?! Comparing the omakase I had at Aoyama a few weeks ago with that of Omi before it closed, the former is more adventurous and the fish/seafood choice is more varied and fresh. Cooked food was pretty good too!
                          For sushi alone, though Cafe Michi's selection may not be as varied, however, freshness-wise, its way up there as well.
                          May be the holy 4.5! Ha!

                          1. re: Charles Yu

                            i would definitely put up aoyama around there... after a recent experience at zen and one shortly after there.... aoyama appeared to have more excellent fish!

                            i'm hearing a 1 more week count down but since he's waiting on a permit i'll say omi still won't be open for another couple of weeks.

                            1. re: Charles Yu

                              For you, Charles, I'll have to make that trip to Aoyama now.

                        2. re: Googs

                          Well did the rebirth finally happen this week-end and if it did launch, what's the verdict? Do the results live up to the hype?

                          1. re: T Long

                            One more permit to get. Damnable bureaucracy.

                            T Long, I thought you'd done the omakase thing at Omi. Did you ever make it to the Church St location?

                            1. re: Googs

                              Hi Googs: No, Omi had closed shortly after I joined these conversations, so no first hand experience as yet.....but looking forward to it. Btw, I'm more likely to go for the menu sushi rather than omakase...

                              1. re: T Long

                                In the old digs, I didn't find the Sushi A or Sushi B offerings much different from other restos. The selections played to the masses. Not sure how that'll be done in the new place.

                                I highly recommend going omakase for the sport of it. Again, I'll have to see if it's executed in the same manner as before. It was always a multi-course culinary adventure in the past.

                            2. re: T Long

                              John Lee says he's going to try to open this weekend. I think his fingers are crossed as much as all of yours!

                          2. These guys seem to be taking their time, though someone said something about a permit being delayed.

                            Is anyone else disappointed in the look of the room? The Town Grill had such a warm, bistro-y feel. I'm not opposed to change, per se, but I dislike the counter that now runs along the right side of the room. Very unfun.

                            1. Any update on an opening this weekend?

                              3 Replies
                              1. re: EarlyDrive

                                Omi soft-opened last night. Doors will open again on Tuesday, October 14.

                                1. re: Googs

                                  did you go to the soft opening? how was it? i'm curious if the menu is going to be similar to the old place or john's got something new up his sleeve.

                                  1. re: pinstripeprincess

                                    It wasn't a full menu night, simply samples of what's to come. Not the sort of thing that should be reviewed. In terms of comparison, what's similar is the vibe in that it's a very relaxed atmosphere with no pretense whatsoever. The ingredients still remain king with each ingredient allowed to shine in simple, well balanced preparations. John Lee still smiles and greets everyone as warmly and as much as he ever did. As for the comment above about the wall-length counter, the party that sat there appeared to be having a great deal of fun. I would check to be certain he's 100% operational before you go, PSP. It *may* still be a work in progress. Judging by my experience, it's rich with promise.