O Ya for Sushi? Oh Yeah
I had RSVP'd for Ignite Boston 6, hosted by O'Reilly which was downtown this year at Fidelity's Headquarters. Since it was right around dinner time, I figured I would grab some dinner downtown, maybe run over to Chinatown before jumping back to the Financial District. I had looked around, and noticed the O Ya was around the corner. O Ya being ranked as one of the country's best Sushi resturaunts last year by the NY Times. I had heard the hype on the local food blogs, Chowhound and other places, and was curious about about the food. Knowing it was expensive, I wanted to go myself before bringing M and dropping a mortgage payment on dinner.
Luckily I had dressed in jeans and a dress shirt, so while I ended up being a little under-dressed, I did not feel uncomfortable among the other clientèle who walked in later. The restaurant was empty, it being 530pm which is on the earlier side of dinner. The hostess took what I thought was an inordinate amount of time trying to “fit me in” but I obliged respectively and was seated at the bar. I was given the menu, and of course offered omakase, chef's choice. While scanning the menu I noticed that the prices were indeed very high, even for sushi, and decided to put myself at the whim of the Chef for $75. This in my mind was how I would keep myself within a price range, and explore things I would not have otherwise selected on my own.
The hit list (from the receipt, I didn't have a chance to take pictures or write down each dish specifically):
- Hamachi N O Ya
- Salmon Tataki
- Warm Eel O Ya
- La Ratte Potato Chip
- Shiitaki Mushroom O Ya
- Kumamoto Oyster O Ya
- Shima Aji Sea Urchin
- Salmon O Ya
- Hamachi Viet O Ya
- Tuna Tataki O Ya
- Foie Gras O Ya
I must say that the sushi was excellent, every dish visually stunning, and even better on the way down. Most of the dishes were cooked or heated in some way, which caught me off guard from other sushi I have enjoyed. Having had omakase previously while on vacation in Los Angeles, the fact that this presentation was more cooked than I expected, made it no less satisfying. The only dish I felt was a let down was a piece of hamachi covered with a home made potato chip. While the dish was good, I felt that while at a restaurant that carried such prestige, this just seemed like a pretty-good potato chip on to pof a piece of tuna and some rice. It felt boring, more of a “a potato chip, really?” kind of moment. The only other nit was the use of basil. While very fresh and refreshing, it overpowered the dishes it accompanied, and I found myself removing it as courses went on.
The last course was the most memorable since it was the most different. Foie Gras seared with some balsamic vinaigrette and chocolate, on top of a simple sea-weed rolled piece of rice, paired with a sample of an 8 year aged sake. While having more of a syrupy consistency and being heavier than most sakes I have had, is still extremely sweet, with a strong hint of raisins. A perfect combination with the very savory foie gras it had been paired along side. This sake, worth noting and buying on my own for consumption at home, is called Hanahato Kijoshu.
I thoroughly enjoyed my meal, and left full but not stuffed from the portion size I had decided on. I felt the omakase kept my budget in check. While scanning the menu during my meal, it would be very easy to blow a $100 or even $150 per person going a la carte selecting sushi or other cooked entrees from O Ya. This is definitely a special occasion meal, and somewhere I put on my list to hit once or twice a year if my budget and appetite desire.