9 E St Pl
Boston, MA 02111
I didn’t know much about the Boston dining scene, so I let The Annoyer pick this place. Of course it’s sushi because there’s nothing The Annoyer loves more than thinly sliced raw fish. I did some research and found that my trusty Boston blogger, Tiny Urban Kitchen
, wrote an excellent review of the restaurant, giving it quite high marks. Labeling O Ya simply as a sushi restaurant would be so far from an understatement. It would almost be insulting. The inspiration is without a doubt Japanese, but Chef Tim Cushman (I was shocked when I found out the chef had no native Asian ties), trained under Nobu Matsuhisa and traveled all over the world. So there is an element of “fusion” in his food, but its the most refined and seemless fusion of flavors that I have ever tasted.
Despite the hefty price tag, I was pretty set on ordering The Grand Omakase because I figured I wouldn’t be back in Boston anytime soon, and probably unlikely to revisit O Ya. History has demonstrated I rarely visit a place twice. There’s gonna be a lot of YOLO in this blog.
We had awesome bar seats in front of this guy. I guess you could say he was “our guy” but the chefs at O Ya don’t make all your food exclusively. They operate stations, similar to the experience we had at Uchi, where one guy did all the raw stuff, another guy did the cooked stuff, and another guy did the rolls. Our guy torched stuff, in addition to various other tasks.
Kumamoto Oysters watermelon pearls, cucumber mignonette
A welcome start with one of my favorite oysters. I loved the sweetness of the delicate watermelon pearls contrasted with the fine crunch of cucumbers.
Hamachi banana pepper
This is a regular menu item and quite popular. I loved the subtle torched flavor which really brought out the fattiness of the yellowtail. The banana peppers were not too spicy. This was a wonderful merriment of flavors.
Kinme Dai ume, japanese plum vinaigrette, shiso
Red Porgy horseradish oil, lemon
A white fish that was light and delicate. The horseradish oil and lemon did not overpower the fish.
Kamasu Wild Japanese Barracuda yuzu truffle, shiso
Heaven in my mouth with this meatier fish and fragrant yuzu and truffle aromas. Stellar.
Kohada Japanese Baby Mackerel black olive puree, aka shiso
Fairly clean for mackerel. The olive puree is definitely nothing I’ve had before in sushi and paired nicely.
Hokkaido Sea Urchin & Black River Ossetra Caviar
This is when things started to get decadent. The uni had that sweetness that went wonderfully with the caviar. I appreciated that neither one flavor over powered the other.
Foie Gras miso, preserved california meyer lemon
And it kept on getting better. This was like foie gras snow with the umaminess of miso and just a hint of citrus from the preserved meyer lemon.
Tennen Madai white soy ginger, myoga, lemon oil
Tasmanian Ocean Trout rainbrow trout caviar, wasabi vinaigrette
Encased within the thinly sliced cucumber were little bursts of ocean salinity that delighted my mouth. A very beautiful presentation as well.
Bluefin Toro wasabi oil, lots of green onions
The toro makes its debut. No decadent Japanese meal is without it. The presentation was sloppy compared to all the other dishes, but it was still wonderful. Perhaps not the best piece of toro, since it was drenched in ponzu, but it seems like O Ya can do now wrong up till now.
Shima Aji leche de tigre, momiji oil, cilantro, cucumber
The striped horse mackerel was bathed in leche de tigre, which is a Peruvian citrus based marinade used to cure the fish in ceviche. Sometimes this is not my favorite sauce because it has quite a zing, but it did not deaden my taste buds with citrus this time around.
Suzuki Sea Bass spicy cucumber vinaigrette, avocado, cilantro
Kegani Hokkaido Hairy Crab tosa zu, sansho, seaweed
This is when things started to get crazy Yums amaze balls. The crab was so fresh and sweet.
Warm Lobster ponzu beurre fondue, bonito, italian summer truffle
Wowzers, this is one is definitely making to the “Best Things I Ever Ate” list. That sauce!? That lobster?! Crazy unbelievable DELICIOUS. I didn’t leave anything behind. So sooooo YUMS!
“Fabergé” Onsen Egg black river ossetra caviar, gold leaf, dashi sauce, green onion
How could the lobster be topped? I know, give me gold flakes! The best dashi with a delicious runny poached egg, and a little sprinkle of caviar never hurt anyone. But it made this little foodie beyond happy. YUMS!
Grilled Chanterelle & Shitake Mushrooms rosemary garlic oil, sesame froth, soy
Really simple, no gimmicks or show like the last 2 dishes.
Kushiyaki of A5 Strip Loin
Oh and we’re back to decadence with the skewer of A5 beef.
Foie Gras Nigiri balsamic chocolate kabayaki, raisin cocoa pulp, sip of aged sake
I didn’t quite take to this transition dish. Maybe I was just too full.
Yuzu Curd almond, blackberry-jasmine sorbet, meringue
This was the perfect ending to an AMAZING meal. It was light, delicate, with varying textures and flavors. I saw pictures from Yelp and most people got a full circle of yuzu curd and I just got a half circle. WTF? I definitely wanted a full circle!
O Ya was an extremely exquisite meal. It is fusion in a style similar to Nobu, but far more elevated and sophisticated. It didn’t taste so much like fusion, as it did Japanese with high end and occasionally nontraditional ingredients. This delivered food and an experienced far beyond anything Uchi churned out, which is the most recent fusiony-Asian spot I have dined at. It’s probably an unfair comparison because the price point here is fairly high, especially since I went with The Grand Omakase. The Annoyer went with the regular omakase, which he found equally as delicious minus all the caviar and gold flakes. I was so surprised that the chef here was not Japanese because everything tasted so authentic, and just really spot on. While it was not the best meal of 2015 (that accolade goes to Lazy Bear
), it was easily a very close second. If there is one restaurant you want to splurge on while in Boston, O Ya is it!
10 – You NEED to eat here
9 – Awesome!
8 – Very good
7 – Good
5 – Average
4 – Not bad
3 – Not good
2 – Terrible
1 – Do NOT eat here