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O ya Go with the omakase?

Any reason not to do the omakase if one can?

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  1. No reason at all! I did it and was never the same...in a good way :)

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    1. re: Trumpetguy

      Don't pass on the great sake list either then :)

    2. Yes, absolutely do the omikase if you can!

      1. Omakase is great, especially if you let Nancy pair with sake. On subsequent visits, I've gone a la carte as I knew what things really made me smile.

        No matter what, it will be a stellar experience.

        1. If you've done the omakase once or twice before, you'll want to branch out. It varied some, but not much, for me.

          1 Reply
          1. re: enhF94

            That's true....if you've been before. I have had omakase several times and it has not varied a lot, though each time I specify something I am interested in that night (uni, wagyu, foie, ask about their specials...). But if it is a first time I recommend it as it gives you a "greatest hits" version of the menu I guess and takes the pressure off trying to decide form so many fantastic looking things. Just be sure to nail down the price before you go with it!

          2. A word of caution: know that the omakase consists in your waiter picking 15 menu items for you, charging each diner half the full cost of each item (since each diner gets half a serving of each item). But as far as I can tell, you have a say in what's included. I regret that I left the decisions entirely to the staff, as I ended up with a menu that leaned too heavily on the nigiri and sashimi and included an all too exorbitantly priced piece of waygu (the one with the smoked potato and grilled onion garnishes; I didn't like these at all). So yes, do try the omakase, but also try mentioning the dishes you'd really like to see included in (or excluded from) it.

            7 Replies
            1. re: nwinkler

              Yep, that's where I landed too: oddly asking for omakase "but perhaps you could include this and this and this?" which they happily indulged. I had the same exorbitant wagyu, but loved it; and of course I won't pass up either kumamoto preparation.

              Speaking of items not previously on my omakase, has anyone tried the...
              porcelet tonkatsu
              chicken yakitori
              onsen egg
              soba noodles
              silken tofu tempura?

              1. re: enhF94

                I"ve had the soba with uni, it was very good but if you're going to pay more than say $10 per omakase course I would be inclined to substitute something more substantial or unusual. Same goes for the other dishes like yakitori, tofu tempura and tonkatsu, which I have not tried at O-Ya but which personally I would not squander my omakase dollars on (if I want tonkatsu, yakitori or tofu tempura, I"ll go to Fugakyu, Cafe Mami etc.) Just my 2 cents...

                1. re: enhF94

                  Had the tonkatsu and yakitori ages ago, and they were fine, but not as good as the sushi/sashimi. It's not a bad idea to go back and forth with the chefs, ordering one or two items at a time with their advice. It's more interactive too if that's what you like.

                  Also, the bar seats in front of the fridge case are prime real estate -- it gives one a chance to check out the slabs of fish and other seafood and thus can help the ordering process.

                  1. re: enhF94

                    The silken tofu tempura is one of the best items on the menu, IMO. Floating in a salty, complex dashi broth ((IIRC) that's incredible---you won't find a similar dish that comes close in Boston. I'm also a big fan of the Onsen egg. The others on your list are fine, but there are so many other, more "wow" dishes elsewhere on the menu that I only re-try them every once in a while.

                  2. re: nwinkler

                    A word of caution, indeed. 'Omakase' by definition means a chef's selection of dishes, but I felt as if our waiter picked them as well, which is not what I am paying what turned out to be an exorbitant sum for. I also expected some items to be served that were not listed on the menu, but no, as described in this thread it was a 'greatest hits' from the menu and with the fuzzy pricing to boot, we walked out sick to our stomachs for being ripped off in such a way. Also we were served FIVE courses with truffle oil on them, uh, 1993 called and it wants it's culinary crutch back?!? When one has not earned Michelin Stars, or international acclaim for that matter, and manages to make Le Bernadin look like a bargain something is wrong. O Ya got my money once, but never again, I will stick to Uni and Oishii in the future.

                    -----
                    O Ya
                    9 East Street, Boston, MA 02111

                    1. re: suzysue2

                      Correct. It is not true omakase, more of a guided tour, which I found useful on my first visit but would not need to do again.

                      As for the ripped-off feeling, that is a risk at any very expensive restaurant, and there's no question that this is one. I'm afraid it is a place not to go if one cannot separate the dining experience from the knowledge of its cost. Standard value calculus does not work here. That said, I will be back, because there is nowhere else I can get that experience, and it continues to ring euphonically in my memory.

                      1. re: suzysue2

                        "1993 called and it wants it's [sic] culinary crutch back?!? " Hilarious!
                        However, I have to quibble with your statement that O Ya has not earned international acclaim. The list of awards is stacking up and surely news has reached the international dining scene. The meal I had here was definitely one of the top 3 of my life.

                        -----
                        O Ya
                        9 East Street, Boston, MA 02111

                    2. Absolutely get the omakase -- you can request favorites that you want to be sure not to miss. Do yourself a favor and request the foie gras sushi with balsamic-chocolate sauce; it's one of the best dishes in Boston. The hamachi with banana-pepper mousse is fantastic too.

                      The wine/sake pairing is great, too, but only if the owner's wife (Nancy) is the sommelier that night.

                      6 Replies
                        1. re: justbeingpolite

                          Wow!! what a meal.
                          Thanks for pushing me to the omakaze.
                          I think I had all the standard dishes, and they seem too many to recount.
                          I'm usually not an uni guy, but decided to let it go and try it. Boy that Santa Barbara uni is smooth stuff, it might have turned me.
                          If there was any quibble, the two (or was it three) dishes with truffle oil on them were so potent, they might have slightly overwhelmed the succeeding dish. But every, and I mean every bite was a revelation.
                          My DC did not get the omakaze (but shared some bites of mine) . This way I got to taste the lobster salad, beet shashimi, Chanterelle sashimi, and rock shrimp kakiage, all of which were wonderful.
                          The Cushmans were on site, and Ms Cushman picked sake pairings with the omakaze. She couldn't have been sweeter or more helpful.

                          I loved the board favorites: the foie gras was decadent, loved the hamachi with banana pepper mousse that Boston Otter referred to above.

                          Thanks again

                          1. re: justbeingpolite

                            I'm really happy you enjoyed your meal! Yeah, frankly I sort of avoid truffle oil wherever I go; it's so heavy that it tends to stick with me for the rest of the meal. I'm with you there.

                            I didn't get to try the rock shrimp, beet sashimi, or lobster salad -- I'll definitely give those a try when I get to go next.

                            Glad you got to have a quality sake pairing; my one quibble with my last visit was that my waiter tried to play sommelier instead, and just sort of gave me random glasses of wine and sake during the meal, saying stuff like "here's a tasty wine" or "this should go well with the next few dishes". Tasty wine, yes, but not a well done pairing.

                            Never had their uni, either... and I've never had a decent uni experience. That and natto just leave me cold. But I'm sure O Ya would make me a fan if anyone could :)

                            1. re: Boston_Otter

                              I usually find uni too "oceanny", like anything but the freshest of mussels can taste. And the New England uni, even when I've snorkled and picked up some sea urchins, cracked 'em and ate it fresh, can be a little too strong.
                              At O Ya they were opening these beatiful little crates of Santa Barbara uni, lovely light color and taste. Nothing like what I expected. I'd try that again for sure. Haven't tried natto, but I suspect it would take some getting used to, definitely an acquired taste!

                              I didn't mention the truffle potato chip sushi, that was good, and that use of truffle I had no quibble with (just the price when I happened to look over my bill, though I like that they itemize everything so you can recall what you had).

                              Thanks once more for everyone's help. I'm already plotting to go again sometime.

                              1. re: justbeingpolite

                                I love sea urchin, but I thought it was the weakest dish at Oya when I had it. Not bad; just not up to the quality of the other fish served.

                                I've had better at Sakura Bana.

                            2. re: justbeingpolite

                              Sounds DELICIOUS! Do you mind to share approximately how much your omakase was w/o drinks or gratuity?