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Jan 14, 2009 07:06 AM

Affordable Omakase

Want to treat my boyfriend who loves sushi, I'm not even sure he knows that omakase exists :)
Anyway I am looking to spend 50-75 pp. But really for the best bang for your buck. In doing some reading is it between Jewel Bako, 15 east or azabu. What would you recommend? and since i was thinking of this for tonight would I need a reservation etc?

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    1. What are you looking for in an omakase? More like a tasting menu format (some appetizers, soup, sashimi, a cooked dish, maybe a flight of nigiri, etc.)? Or *just* nigiri?

      Definitely, definitely make a reservation if you want to sit at the sushi bar.

      5 Replies
      1. re: kathryn

        I would rather it be heavier on the nigiri or completely so but one or two other dishes are fine. It's really about how the omakase makes you feel special (or at least i do)
        i would love to make reservations if i knew where to do so. also what about gari?

        1. re: danie3633

          If you want the very special experience, where you sit at the counter, and the chef makes your nigiri one piece at a time and hands it to you, pre-sauced... your budget is a bit low, unless you cut yourself off and order something else (don't count on filling up on nigiri).

          I haven't been to Gari in a while but IIRC for at least one of the branches, if you order the omakase (from a table?) it comes as platter all at once.

          I think your budget is low for Gari, Jewel Bako, or 15 East. It's doable at Azabu.

          1. re: kathryn

            thanks kathryn! is there a place i didn't name that would match?

            1. re: danie3633

              you'll actually do really well at azabu...they do an omakase that's mostly nigiri and sashimi, with cooked dishes interspersed, for $58. had that over the weekend and was very happy. there's a version for $10 more that seems to enlarge courses, but offer no additional courses, but i can't vouch for that.

              never tried 15 east but gari and bako require about 100 bucks investment to really experience

              1. re: danie3633

                Possibly Ushiwakamaru but their "omakase" on the menu is more of a tasting format with a single flight of nigiri. You're better off ordering one selection at a time, or one of their sets. Maybe the 10 piece set + additional pieces (whatever is fresh, just ask the chefs). Definitely make a reservation if you want to sit at the sushi bar there, it's not a big place.

        2. danie, as kathryn says, a true omakase (where you leave yourself completely in the chef's hands and eat whatever he chooses to feed you, generally taking into account your taste preferences, at the sushi bar) will often run you more than your price limit. but you can call to see whether a sushi chef will honor a price limit that you set in advance. i think many chefs will if they consider the price you set reasonable. call yasuda and ask katsu-san whether he could honor a $75/person limit.

          many other places have set "omakase" meals (a pre-chosen, non-individualized set plate you don't have to eat at the sushi bar). kanoyama has one that is supposed to be a good value. i personally do not think the one at ushiwakamaru is a good value. it is inexpensive, but the quality of the fish is not very high.

          15 east is a very good sushi restaurant, but it's also very pricey and probably offers less bang for your buck than places like yasuda. jewel bako is IMO terrible. i think it used to be good, but has not been since i've been in nyc (about six years). i haven't eaten at azabu.