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Jan 18, 2013 11:09 PM

Omakased yet again!!!

Last night I went out to dinner with a friend here in LA...we were driving around, trying to find a restaurant to go to and passed on a few because we didn't want to spend too much (75pp) we eventually made it back to a sushi bar I'd never been and always wanted to try...Jinpachi in WeHo.

Sat at the bar, and as is my custom, sort of nodded to the sushi chef to just serve us food...when my first course was three oysters three different ways I knew right away it was going to be a struggle to stay under 75.

We got probably 20 different pieces of sushi...and it was fantastic.

Yet, even though the chef was clearly marking off all the food on the sushi sheet, when the bill came it was exactly 110 pp. With tax and tip nearly double what we wanted to spend on the high side initially...such is life :)

This is not the first time this has happened to fact, I'd say it happens more often than not, especially in the high end sushi places...of course, there is no way to really double check to see if I'm paying more or less than if I had ordered myself - I somehow think there is a 30-50% premium to not have to order each piece.

Anyone else have this experience, and is there really any solution?

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  1. When you tell the chef to just serve you whatever he wishes, you can't expect him to know your budget.

    1. You gave the chef full permission to serve whatever he wanted. Thats what omakase is. Oftentimes, they serve the special offerings, which tend to be higher priced due to quality and/or availability.

      You could have let the server know that your budget is $xx and they could have relayed that to the chef.

      To cut cost next time:
      Choose a less expensive restaurant
      Let them know your budget
      Don't give the chef free reign
      Don't eat as much

      Frankly, I don't think $110 for omakase at a good sushi bar is outrageous at all.

      2 Replies
      1. re: boogiebaby

        The problem, IMO, is that some places will just serve various dishes and then give you an ITEMIZED bill at the end of the meal...the total reflects the a la carte total. Other times, the chef feeds you and there is an seemingly random total. And then there was last night...the chef is writing down each piece on his sheet, yet somehow comes up with the exact same total for both of us even though my friend ate different food (won't eat shellfish).

        1. re: manku

          I've had the same experiences in many different sushi restaurants. The ones that I frequent have a fixed "omakase" price (ironically usually about $110), even if you substitute or they throw in a few items.

          It is just the nature of omakase in the US.

      2. Solution? Order for yourself, obviously.