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Omakase for a Birthday

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eastlakovore Aug 4, 2011 02:06 PM

The wife loves sushi, and I'd like to treat her to a special sushi dinner. Usually everyone here says Origami is the best, is that the surest bet for an Omakase dinner?
Even more basic of a question - I haven't done an Omakase menu in any Minnesota sushi establishment, is it worth it, will we dine on something 'special'?

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  1. Foureyes137 Aug 4, 2011 03:16 PM

    Simply: Yes, that is your best bet.

    We've been enjoying Masu lately, but because their fish list is, admirably, focused on sustainability, several offerings you might hope to find during an evening of Omakase aren't available (toro, otoro, chutoro, unagi, big eye, blue fin, etc). Come to think of it, we've not asked if they can do omakase, I am simply presuming.

    1. Uisge Aug 5, 2011 10:06 AM

      Fuji Ya in St Paul lists Omakase for two on their menu.

      I want to put in a good word for Sakura, too. My daughter and I went for sushi. I requested an omakase and put a price limit of $30 on it (not a lot of wiggle room there). I was so pleased with what I got. The fish were the same as my daughter's standard sushi dinner, but the prep was unique on all of them and was very tasty and creative. One had a lovely green leaf in it, sort of spicy and fresh. One had what tasted like pepper, but very floral - maybe grains of paradise? Given how little I could afford, it was a wonderful experience.

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      Sakura Restaurant & Sushi Bar
      350 Saint Peter St Ste 195, Saint Paul, MN 55102

      Fuji Ya
      465 Wabasha St, Saint Paul, MN 55109

      1. n
        namabiiru Aug 7, 2011 12:33 AM

        This town isn't known for excellent sushi and an unfortunate byproduct of that is omakase here is more like omakase-light. The majority of restaurants that serve sushi either don't have the capability to do it or don't do it well. This includes Fuji-ya and Masa that were mentioned. They have it on the menu, yes, and that is part of the problem. It shouldn't be a menu item, it shouldn't be defined as x of this xx of that. Its like telling an artist they can only paint with red or a movie director they can only shoot the film in black and white.

        Props to Uisge cuz Sakura in St. Paul doesn't get the publicity or have the glamour associated with a big name chef shuffling around the floor but when all is said and done they have some very skilled sushi chefs. I think it is one of the top Japanese restaurants in the area. They won't wow you with omakase though, IMO.

        I think your best bet is the best sushi joint in town, Origami (the downtown one). Its not a guarantee, but the majority of my forays there I have been delighted and surprised with the "special" things they have placed in front of me. Even when the fare is more standardized, those guys just do it better than anybody else. With quality comes price though, be prepared!

        Awesome idea to help celebrate a bday!

        2 Replies
        1. re: namabiiru
          s
          semanticantics Aug 7, 2011 11:09 AM

          Although Fuji-Ya lists it as a menu item which is somewhat backwards, if you sit at the bar there, or most sushi places, and engage the chef and ask for suggestions or say "surprise me", you can get a similar experience, and I dare say better vs. getting a platter delivered to your table of things you may not know what they are.

          Sushi Tango does omakase, and what is kind of neat about their version is you just throw out a dollar amount and that gives the chef some wiggle room. It's not $25 or $80, it's whatever you feel like.

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          Sushi Tango
          3001 Hennepin Avenue South, Minneapolis, MN 55408

          1. re: semanticantics
            s
            steve_in_stpaul Aug 8, 2011 07:13 AM

            I was going to mention Sushi Tango, having enjoyed omakase there before. But "before" was about 10-12 years ago and I'm guessing whoever the itamae was then has long since moved on -- and maybe omakase there had, too.

            Among the standouts were a small Spanish mackerel sliced, skin and all, into kind of 3D-herringbone shapes, and reassembled to look like the original fish, and my first encounters with quail eggs and "mountain potato" (yamato-imo). It was a great night out...

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            Sushi Tango
            3001 Hennepin Avenue South, Minneapolis, MN 55408

        2. c
          Codetron Aug 8, 2011 10:12 PM

          I had a wonderful omakase experience about a month ago while sitting at the bar at Masu. I didn't realize until I asked to order some sushi from the bartender that their head sushi chef was standing right in front of me, across the bar. He very graciously asked if we we were looking for anything special, or had any particular likes or dislikes in our sushi preferences. Since he was right there, I immediately decided on going for the omakase and asked that he simply give us his favorites, using their freshest and best ingredients of the night. He proceeded to craft a beautiful and delicious platter of rolls, sashimi, sushi and vegetables right in front of us. The food , service and atmosphere were all top notch. I seem to recall that with omakase for 2 plus about 4 specialty drinks the tab came to about $90, which was not above my expectations. It was a great night, which I look forward to repeating and would highly recommend.

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          Masu Sushi and Robata
          330 E Hennepin Ave, Minneapolis, MN 55414

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