Easily one of the most expensive restaurants in the New England area, O Ya is an upscale modern Japanese restaurant in Boston’s Chinatown. The restaurant itself is on the desolate corner of East Street and East Place. But don’t let the unwelcoming exterior get you down, the grand entrance and tiny yet charming restaurant will offset that sour feeling you got when you first arrived. There are only 37 seats in the entire restaurant including the 17 seats at the sushi bar. With 5 chefs and one of the largest menus I have seen at an upscale Japanese restaurant, it was time to see if O Ya was going to live up to all the hype surrounding it. [Photo via]
Tim Cushman is O Ya’s head chef but don’t worry, he is not doing all the work alone. There are 5 additional chefs at the sushi bar helping him dish out dinners that are usually no less than 10 courses. The small “tapas” style menu requires diners to order at least 5 dishes a person and two of those will have to include the slightly larger portioned meat or fish dishes. To start off, I would recommend at least three sushi dishes. The Bluefin Toro with spicy mentaiko mayo and sesame is a great option as well as the Hamachi Belly with yuzu soy marinated sea urchin. While the sushi and sashimi options show off the skill of the kitchen, the meat and fish dishes are where you are going to eat your actual dinner. The Miso Marinated Black Cod is on a totally other level than what is created by chef Nobu Matsuhisa at Nobu and the Eclectic Eel with foie gras was simply the best dish of the evening. While the menu does allow one to taste and sample a bit of everything O Ya has to offer, the prices leave one paying, on average, $20 for two pieces of nigiri. The meat and fish dishes, while sized as small appetizers, are very rich and quite frankly you simply can not eat more than what is portioned. [Photo via]
O Ya is Boston’s answer to New York restaurants Masa and Nobu and quite frankly it is much better than both options put together. While a dinner at O Ya could cost just as much as Masa (since it is a la carte and the price depends on what you order) but the quality of the chefs are much better and O Ya simply can not even be compared to Nobu. If you’re ever in the Boston area you have to go to O Ya as it really is one of the best Japanese restaurants in America.