omakase pricing at sushi ike
we went to ike last night on a whim. we haven't been in a long time mainly due to being on a budget, and i was hesitant because we still did not want to spend a ton. my husband did a google search and came up with several reviews on yelp from the past couple months that said the omakase was around $50 or less, so i fell for it.
we arrived around 6:30 and the bar was already packed, so we sat at a table and asked for omakase. when our order was being taken i asked if they had the sweet shrimp since i was craving a crispy fried head.
we had a small dish of fish cut in strips marinated in yuzu with scallions - i think she said langoustine but the texture was like a whitefish so i think we misheard. the next course was a plate of sashimi - tuna, salmon, and yellowtail, 4 pieces of each. then a plate of grilled octopus, easily the best dish of the evening. next was a platter of nigiri - scallop with shiso "eat first, no soy" which was unusual and spectacular, red clam, halibut, albacore, and mackerel with a strip of some kind of gelee laid over it which was sort of sweet. the mackerel didn't seem as fresh and toothsome as it should've been. there was also a cut roll of diced tuna, cucumber, and scallion.
we hadn't eaten all day so when we were asked if we wanted more we said of course, asking for more sashimi. we were given a tiny cut roll with almost invisible pieces of clam and shiso.
even though every single person who sat after us was served a shrimp head as an amuse, we still hadn't seen any despite mentioning it at the beginning of the meal, so we ordered the sweet shrimp and an order of uni, and it was served with no head. i had to ask our server if i had ordered the correct item and only then did we get our heads.
then i was shocked when the bill came to $170 with 2 bottles of sapporo.
i calculated out bill per item with generous pricing on the MP items and i still feel like we were overcharged. our meal was fantastic overall, but all the joy i was feeling disappeared when i saw the check.
did we do something wrong??
That seems about right from all that you ordered. the shrimp (sweet ) with fried heads alone can possibly cost roughly 15 bucks right there. 10 bucks a piece for each bottle of sapporo, and you're already and you're already at 35 bucks. that cut rolll could've been like 10 bucks. and that fish sashimi at the beginning could have been about anywhere from 12 to 15 bucks. at least it was not Nishimura where you might have gotten seriously fleeced i.e. 28 bucks for a hamachi sashimi and 10 bucks for each oyster with a tiny dollop of caviar.
8684 Melrose Ave, West Hollywood, CA 90069
It's almost impossible to determine the price of an omakase dinner beforehand.
Any review (be it Yelp or otherwise) that says an omakase will be "$X or less" is not really talking about omakase. Because by definition an omakase meal will involve the sushi chef serving what's fresh and in season that *day*. Thus, it's going to vary day to day and will invariably vary diner to diner because while Joe Diner might have gotten a nice fatty cut of o-toro by the time Jane Diner is served there might not be any more of that o-toro and the chef will substitute something else, like a nice fleshly cut of sake.
Ask for an itemized bill or suck it up if that makes you feel like you're being a cheapskate. I've been overcharged at Ike twice and haven't been inclined to return. The sushi is good but not stellar, and the ambience too cramped for my taste anyway.