Friday, August 15, 2014

Omakase at O Ya (Boston, MA)

When I asked for sushi recommendation, the name that kept popping up was O Ya - with the warning that it's expensive. Indeed, although you can order a la carte at O Ya, the full omakase runs about $250 and the smaller tasting menu $180. But I have to try it, right? I sat at the counter where I can see the chefs at work. My friend was late so I was getting hungry watching all the foie gras sushi being fired out ...

Finally my friend came and we opted for the smaller omakase menu. As expected, it started with a fresh Kumamoto Oyster (watermelon pearls, cucumber mignonette)
Then, we proceeded with the nigiri courses. What makes O Ya different is the sauces he puts on the nigiri sushi. They're not just soy sauce or yuzu, but you can find things like Hamachi with spicy banana pepper mousse
I loved the texture of the seared hamachi and the banana pepper mousse worked well, although it slightly overwhelmed the hamachi flavor. Maybe slightly less mousse on top?

Things like banana pepper mousse doesn't mean that O Ya veers completely from the traditional, though. Our next course is a Salmon with unfiltered wheat soy moromi
Moromi is a term you may hear in sake brewing, and I believe it basically means the unrefined or unfiltered mash of grain that is undergoing fermentation. I enjoyed the earthy flavor with the fatty salmon.

The next bite is an indulgence: Santa Barbara sea urchin and Russian Osetra caviar
An unbeatable combination, of course.
Warm eel, thai basil, kabayaki, fresh Kyoto sansho
A sea eel, served with a sweet sauce, as usual - yet there's a tinge of spice from the basil and sansho (Japanese pepper) that added another dimension.

Warm chive blossom omelette, sweet dashi sauce
I love warm tamagoyaki and just wished there was more of it in ratio to the rice.

Iwashi: house-smoked wild Japanese sardine, spicy pickled scotch bonnet, cilantro

Fried Kumamoto oyster, yuzu kosho aioli, squid ink bubbles

Kohada with green olive tapenade
In this case, I thought there was too much tapenade and the saltiness overwhelmed the kohada.

Wild Bluefin maguro, soy braised garlic, micro greens

Kyoto style wild morel mushrooms, garlic, soy
Their non-fish nigiri sushi options are quite fun, including this morel mushroom one which I enjoyed, and other things like potato chip sushi.

Now we move on to the sashimi courses, starting with Shima Aji, Hue-style, kaffir oil, table salad
Just a hint of spiciness.
Scottish salmon, spicy sesame ponzu, yuzu kosho, scallion oil

Hamachi, Viet mignonette, Thai basil, shallot
Probably my favorite of the sashimi courses.

Bluefin tuna tataki, smoky pickled onion, truffle oil

Chilled Maine lobster salad, avocado, creamy yuzu dressing, micro greens, cucumber gelee
Lobster Salad
I've noticed it before, but the Maine lobster I eat in Boston is just so much sweeter and fresher than the ones we get in Los Angeles. This lobster salad was delectable.

Foie Gras miso on tempura bits, preserved California yuzu
I told them I love foie gras and wanted lots of it. The creaminess of the foie miso with the crunchy tempura bits made for an exciting bite.

Alternate if you don't eat foie gras: Grilled Chanterelle and shiitake mushroom sashimi, rosemary garlic oil, sesame froth, soy

Seared Petit Strip Loin (2 oz wagyu), potato confit, sea salt, white truffle oil
This one is a serving for two. On the a la carte menu the price differs from the wagyu and Kobe (of course). I believe we got the regular wagyu and it was an excellent steak full of flavor.

The finale for me, is the long-awaited Foie Gras nigiri with balsamic chocolate kabayaki, Claudio Corallo raisin cocoa pulp
This is served with a sip of 8-year aged sake (Hanahata Junmai Kijoshi, Hiroshima)
The sake was bit sweet, a bit pungent. Perfect with the balsamic chocolate kabayaki and raisin cocoa pulp. The foie sushi also did not disappoint.

For my friend who doesn't eat foie gras: Miso-marinated Delice de Bourgogne (also served with a sip of the aged sake)

Did I mention I love the serving wares they use here? Here's one of the chopstick holders.

We received two desserts: Aged sake gelato, financier, vanilla cremaux, miso-hazelnut caramel

Yuzu curd, almond, blackberry-jasmine, meringue

Chocolate petit fours: White chocolate with roasted green tea and Chambord, Milk chocolate with yuzu kosho hazelnut.

Overall I quite enjoyed my meal at O Ya. They play around with spices and the dressings more than a traditional sushi restaurant, but most of the time it worked, although a few were overwhelming. The omakase is certainly quite expensive and I won't be having this meal very often, but seeing the various other foie gras dishes on the menu, I think I'll be back for an a la carte dinner!

O Ya
9 East St
Boston, MA 02111
(617) 654-9900
O Ya on Urbanspoon



119Agree! I am a big fan of O Ya because they take traditional (getting boring) dishes and fire them up with creativity.

I would love to back!


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