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May 23, 2012 10:22 AM

One Dinner Only

We're coming to Boston the last weekend in July for a wedding. Staying at the Seaport. With all the wedding festivities, we'll have only one free dinner to ouselves (Thurs. night), but we'll have 3 lunches. I know we've got two months, but I've been scouring the boards anyway (commercial real estate is pretty slow right now...). For lunches, we're thinking about Neptune, Pizzaria Regina and possibly one of the dumpling places. The two places that intrigue me for dinner couldn't be more different: ICOB and O Ya. ICOB looks great - food, drink, atmosphere, price. O Ya looks amazing, but my concern is whether we should go if we're not the most adventurous sushi eaters. We love the raw fish, but don't really care for uni or eel or large fish eggs, etc. Is it worth spending the money if we're not that adventurous, and if so, would you still during the chef's omakase?

Thanks in advance for the help!

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  1. My wife and I are not the most adventurous sushi eaters, and we enjoyed our two meals at O Ya. The only issue is that it is VERY expensive. You could eat at ICOB twice for what yo'd pay for one meal at O Ya. For that reason alone, I'd go to ICOB over O Ya. If you had more dinners free, I'd say O Ya would be awesome (with the understanding that you'll be spending some serious coin).

    1. Even if you choose do to do the Omakase course at O-Ya you can let the waitstaff know if there are any types of seafood you don't like and they will tailor the course for your tastes. If you really want a unique dining experience then O-Ya would be my suggestion.

      1. Taking a quick look at your other posts, i would vote against O Ya for your one dinner. You seem to like interesting food, well prepared and without pretense and are well traveled (e.g. Italy). ICOB is a good choice but O Ya for a non sushi lover I think would leave you hungry and a little disappointed at their price point. For European / American around here, a tasting menu Craigie on Main might be a nice dinner. For deluxe, L'Espalier or Menton maybe if you really need to blow some change.

        3 Replies
        1. re: gourmaniac

          Thank you for considering my other posts before responding! You are right that we generally like food without pretense. Over the past couple of years, we've also moved more toward less formal dining. We find that more casual experiences are more fun for us. Last time we were in Boston we had a fantastic dinner at No. 9 Park. We wouldn't consider returning because we are just not looking for such a formal experience. Is O Ya a formal dining experience? Because even though we don't eat uni, eggs, etc., we do love raw fish, and we do love interesting food. If only ICOB was open for lunch, this would be a no-brainer.

          1. re: tlubow

            ICOB will be open for lunch/brunch that Sunday, but not that Saturday

            1. re: tlubow

              It isn't formal. It has a gun metal gray industrial NYC type dining room. Service is professional but not formal and can be considered cool. The raw fish is excellent and as are other items (mushrooms, foie gras). The items are as others have alluded, very expensive so definitely not a value place. I think their strengths are unusual combinations of flavors. They also have interesting sakes. I guess for the money, I would hope that the tastes form exquisite memories. I've enjoyed the couple of times I've been, but O Ya doesn't have staying power for me.

          2. you can order a la carte at O Ya, save a lot of money, and avoid any items which you don't care for. Most (but not all) of the omakase items are available a la carte. That being said, gourmaniac's suggestion of Craigie could also work (and you could split the roast pig's head as an appetizer). Ask them to make you a Great King Street (drink) or a 1919 while you're there.

            7 Replies
            1. re: barleywino

              The problem with the a la carte method is that when I look at the menu online, there are about 20-25 items I want. For those of you who have dined there and dined a la carte, about how many items will we need for a meal? Do we order any of the cooked food or stick with the sushi and sashimi?

              1. re: tlubow

                I would stick with sushi/sashimi (unless you want to splurge on some Kobe beef). 12-14 items, split between 2 people, and washed down with some Hitachino Nipponia perhaps, should be plenty, unless you're really hungry.

                1. re: barleywino

                  Thanks so much! I think we've got a plan. Unfortunately, hunger really doesn't have that much to do with it. I hope we can keep ourselves in check.

                  1. re: tlubow

                    if you prefer a table over the sushi bar, just be sure to request that when you make your reservation

                    1. re: barleywino

                      I thought the sushi bar would be more interesting. I'll try to reserve this weekend. Thanks again.

                      1. re: tlubow

                        They reserve the bar online at Open Table, they reserve tables only by calling. I did each one once, we far preferred the bar.

                        1. re: kimfair1

                          Bar offers a better view of the action but (depending where at the bar they put you) you can be bumping elbows with the party next to you

            2. Welcome in advance. Hope you have good experiences here when you visit, and that this might be helpful:

              Guide to Boston by Areas and Restaurants:

              i think you're right on track with neptune and regina's for lunch, and and ICOB or OYa for dinner.To me, the brunch/lunch menu at ICOB is not a draw; the dinner menu is.

              Here are 2 very detailed fairly recent threads that adress OYa and other spots:



              7 Replies
              1. re: opinionatedchef

                Thanks, OC. I had already read those posts. I'm practically a Uhockey groupie. We're going to try O Ya. How difficult of a reservation is it? Tomorrow is 2 months until we go. Should I get online tomorrow?

                1. re: tlubow

                  if you go at a popular time (e.g. 7pm or later), there's a good chance you will be pretty tightly packed in at the bar, so if you are partial to more elbow room or privacy, you might want to consider a table. If you go closer to when they open, like 5-5:30pm, you will likely have more room. Here are a couple dim cellphone shots (fried kumamoto oysters w/ squid ink foam, and aji tataki w/ scallion ginger powder). You won't find stuff like this at ICOB. PS. don't miss the (lobster) legs w/ eggs sushi.

                  1. re: tlubow

                    Not sure if they have a 30 or 60 day out policy on Open Table. Check tomorrow, and they'll let you know if it's too soon. Again that's for the bar only, if you want a table call them instead. Enjoy! Don't miss the foie gras w/raisins (have it as dessert- don't waste any money on their regular desserts). Also the hamachi w/banana pepper mousse is awesome, as is the mushroom sashimi.

                    1. re: kimfair1

                      Thanks everyone. I got a reservation. Are there any good bars near the restaurant or on our way? We're staying at the Seaport and would love to have a cocktail (or two) before dinner.

                      1. re: tlubow

                        Drink in Fort Point is on your way. One of the best cocktail bars in the city (and country)

                        1. re: Matt H

                          It looks perfect. Thanks - it appears I'm all set for the trip. Thanks again to all Boston hounds.

                    2. re: tlubow

                      ha! a uhockey groupie, eh? Makes perfect sense to me, though following his detailed reports is a full time job!