Review: Omakase.

I have a love/hate relationship with San Francisco. This city has a truly amazing dining scene, one of the best in the country, but restaurants nowadays are getting so damn expensive even by my standards.

As soon as Omakase came onto the dining scene last summer, I knew I had to try it. Recently receiving a Michelin star for 2016, this tiny restaurant serves traditional Japanese cuisine. They offer two types of omakases (tasting menu), which are the only options on the menu, and neither are cheap by any means. We decided to get the yamato omakase, the larger of the two, for the full experience.

We started off with a glass of complimentary Dom Pérignon champagne. The first few courses before the nigiri were small appetizers and sashimi.

Inside Omakase.

Hamachi/Yellowtail Rice Ball with White Soy Sauce Jelly (9/10).

The mini rice ball topped with hamachi was the perfect bite to begin the dinner.

Fried and Marinated Umi Masu/Ocean Trout with Tomato and Herbs (9/10).

The fried and marinated umi masi (ocean trout) was one of my favorite dishes of the night. The fish was perfectly cooked and marinated in a deliciously light vinegary solution then served cold with fresh tomato and tons of aromatic herbs.

Maguro/Tuna Sashimi (8/10) and Madai/Red Sea Bream Sashimi (7/10).

Medai/Japanese Sea Bream with Cream Sauce (7.5/10).

Lobster Sashimi (8/10) and Hotate/Scallop Sashimi (8.5/10).

Lobster and Cucumber Sunomono Salad (9/10).

Out of the four sashimi we tried, my favorites were the lobster, which my first time trying raw lobster and it was deliciously sweet, and hotate (scallop). The medai (Japanese sea bream) with cream sauce needed a touch more salt to elevate the flavors of the dish. The last appetizer was the lobster and cucumber sunomono salad which I absolutely loved. Sunomono is a traditional Japanese salad of vegetables or seafood marinated in rice wine vinegar. After the appetizers and sashimi, we tasted numerous kinds of nigiri sushi.

Zuke Chutoro/Medium Fatty Tuna Nigiri (9/10).

Hirame/Flounder Nigiri with Shiso and Liver (8.5/10).

Aji/Horse Mackerel Nigiri with Ginger (8/10).

Unfortunately Don’t Remember this One!

Kinmedai/Golden Eye Snapper Nigiri (9/10).

Buri/Japanese Amberjack Nigiri (8/10).

Sake/Copper River Salmon Nigiri with Lemon Zest (9/10).

Saba/Japanese Mackeral Nigiri with Kombu (8/10).

Hata/Grouper Nigiri with Daikon (8/10).

Toro/Blue Fin Tuna Belly Nigiri (9/10).

Kasugodai/Baby Sea Bream Nigiri with Grated Dried Shrimp (9/10).

Ikura/Salmon Roe and Uni/Sea Urchin over Rice (9/10).

Shiro Ebi/White Shrimp Nigiri (9/10).

Tamago/Egg Omelette (8/10).

Overall, the majority of the nigiri were outstanding but my only criticism is that a few nigiri were seasoned with too much fresh wasabi which overpowered the delicateness and flavor of the fish. My favorite nigiri sushi were the zuke chutoro (torched medium fatty tuna), kinmedai (barely torched golden eye snapper), sake (Copper River salmon with lemon zest), kasugodai (baby sea bream with grated dried shrimp), and shiro ebi (white shrimp). The ikura (salmon roe) and uni (sea urchin) mini donburi was obviously one of the highlights of the meal. Salty briny pops of ikura with creamy sweet rich uni paired beautifully to create a heavenly dish.

Wagyu Beef with Broccolini, Mustard, and Pepper Salt (8.5-9/10).

The wagyu beef was of course another decadent dish; the flavor and texture of this high quality beef is incomparable to anything else.

Akadashi with Tofu, Enoki Mushrooms, and Lobster (8/10).

The savory part of the meal ended with akadashi (red miso soup) with tofu, enoki mushrooms, and some lobster meat. Comfort in a bowl.

Mango Sorbet with Sake and Yuzu (8.5/10).

Lastly, the meal ended with a refreshing mango sorbet garnished with yuzu zest and a very light flavored sake.

Was Omakase delicious? Absolutely. The omakase as a whole was a beautiful progression of courses highlighting various high end seafood.Was it worth the price tag? Questionable. Compared to other high end sushi establishments in San Francisco (Kusakabe, Wako, Akiko’s Restaurant, and ICHI Sushi + NI Bar), Omakase is without a doubt the priciest. Even though I enjoyed everything, I feel that the food didn’t quite justify the high price so my rating is an 8/10.

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