26. I’m now officially over the halfway point of my twenties. Seriously, where does the time go?
As is our annual tradition, Twinnie and I selected a Boston tasting menu. Twinnie and I had celebrated our 23rd birthday at O Ya, but I thought it was appropriate to get it right this time. Let me explain. The last time I came, I had gotten into a car accident with some crazy Mass Hole driver who without seeing if there was an opening in traffic, decided to take a blind left turn into my car. Air bags deployed, my arm got decently messed up, and my car Emory was never the same again. Aside from being seriously shaken up, my senses of taste and smell were in air bag chemical overload. As amazing and over the top as the experience was, all I could taste was the smell of those darn airbags.
Well, after Tim Cushman’s 2012 James Beard win for Best Chef in the Northeast, it was as good of a time as any to try, try again!
9.19.12 omakase menu
We have arrived!
Nice glass of dry Asahi to get the meal started
KUMAMOTO OYSTER watermelon peals, cucumber mignonette
Fresh cucumber contrasted with creamy oyster. The sweet watermelon paired well with the salty ocean flavor.
HAMACHI spicy banana pepper mousse
The grilled flavor resonates throughout the entire dish. Truffle and the muted acid of the banana pepper were solid flavor additions.
WILD BLUEFIN MAGURO republic of georgia herb sauce
Extremely lean tuna dolled up with an herbaceous “chimichurri”! Maybe a little mustardy?
SALMON vietnamese dashi caramel, spicy rau rau salsa
Fish sauce caramel and Thai chilis. HEAVEN in my mouth.
Sake from creepy dudes in the restaurant to which I say, “YOLO!”
SANTA BARBARA SEA URCHIN & WHITE STURGEON CAVIAR
This was pure delicate ocean sushi like being a child at the beach without getting your butt kicked by waves.
FRIED KUMAMOTO OYSTER yuzu kosho aioli, squid ink bubbles
A perfect fried oyster with a spicy aioli that creeps up slowly and hits the back of your throat.
WAGYU TATAKI warm yuzu hollaindaise, tarragon, nori
Very rich, Yuzu hollandaise reminded me of my grandpa’s “puffs” recipe (Deviled Ham, cream cheese, and minced onion). I’m sure someone at O Ya will be insulted by that. Ha.
WILD IVORY KING SALMON TARTARE red onion, capers, shiso
The most glorious lox and smear bagel minus the bagel. Amazing play!
TASMANIAN OCEAN TROUT smoked ikura, wasabi vinaigrette
Meh. Krissie liked this. Very fresh and verdant. It didn’t do anything for me.
DIVER SEA SCALLOP australian perigold truffle, sake sea urchin jus, chervil
Salty! Unfortunately gritty but a very sweet scallop served cold.
SCOTTISH SALMON BELLY cilantro, ginger, hot sesame oil drizzle
Rich like a belly should be taken to the next level with the sesame oil. Soy and cilantro were a nice contrast.
FOIE GRAS miso, preserved california yuzu
Very strong, overwhelmingly bold flavors. This isn’t my ideal way to eat foie but very outside the box.
WILD BLUEFIN TORO wasabi oil, lots of green onion
Holy wasabi! I literally sneezed right after I ate this. Delicious toro but almost couldn’t enjoy the richness because of the wasabi overload.
KANPACHI jalapeno sauce, sesame, apple, myoga
Meaty like salmon but a very smooth flavor. It had a nice bite of the jalepeno with a sweet, nutty finish.
ARCTIC CHAR yuzu cured, smoked sesame brittle, cumin aioli, cilantro
Creamy and fishy, in the best way. I loved the play with smell.
WARM LOBSTER ponzu beurre fondue, burgundy truffle, bonito
Aggressively but not unbearably salty. Very rich and buttery. Our waiter Tim commented, “Wow you moved into that quickly!” Why thank you. We’re glad you’ve noticed we are aggressive eaters.
“FABERGE” ONSEN EGG white sturgeon caviar, gold leaf, dashi sauce, green onion
Sadly, my egg was overcooked. Very rich, sitting a pool of concentrated dashi. Plus, it was super birthday opulence with the gold leaf.
GRILLED CHANTERELLES & SHIITAKES rosemary garlic oil, sesame froth, soy
Salt lick city. It wasn’t bad, but it wasn’t good. Grilled mushrooms are my jam, so I was disappointed with this one.
SEARED PETIT STRIP LOIN OF WAGYU
Melty perfection served on smoky grilled potato chips. Twinnie may have said, “I need to unbutton my pants” at the point in the meal.
MISO MARINATED DELICE DE BOURGOGNE
Cheese miso butter. Flavor was way too strong. It was too much for me at the end of the meal.
FOIE GRAS NIGIRI balsamic chocolate kabayaki, claudio corallo raisin cocoa pulp
Rich Rich Rich. This foie may have shaved a year off my life. The dish was served with aged sake that had very strong sherry characteristics. This translates into Katie gagging upon the scent hitting her nose.
Staring death in the face — the aged sake that haunted my dreams
Just to acknowledge the sake gift above. Thank you to the three gentlemen who bought us this bottle. It would have been leaps and bounds less creepy if not for the “I can drive you girls home” and the “I bet you guys are 22” comments. You’re 40, please don’t be a creep.
Thank you so much O Ya! This time around, I think we got it right. The meal was AMAZING. It’s the type of tasting that makes me want to take everyone I love just so they can also see God. Of course, that would only happen if money grew on trees. At $275 a pop (not including beverage pairings), the omakase is not a cheap endeavor.
9 East St
Boston, MA 02111