Review: O Ya.

On our final night in Boston, we dined at a popular modern Japanese restaurant called O Ya.

I’m typically a traditionalist when it comes to sushi (I’m not a fan of Americanized sushi rolls.) but I was willing to try O Ya because they create imaginative artistic nigiri sushi and sashimi. O Ya has three menus: à la carte, chef’s tasting, and the grand omakase. Even though the chef’s tasting and grand omakase were both tempting, we decided to just order items off the à la carte menu.


Sushi Counter.

Shima Aji/Striped Horse Mackerel with Kaffir Oil and Salad (7.5-8/10).

Tasmanian Ocean Trout with Rainbow Trout Roe and Wasabi Vinaigrette (8/10).

Arctic Char with Sesame Brittle, Cumin Aioli, and Cilantro (8/10).

Hokkaido Scallop with Oregon Black Truffle, Sake Sea Urchin Jus, and Chervil (9.5/10).

We started off with four types of sashimi, all unique and wildly different. Our first sashimi was the shima aji (striped horse mackerel) with kaffir oil and a light salad. Next was the Tasmanian ocean trout wrapped in cucumber topped with salty rainbow trout roe and dressed in a slightly spicy wasabi vinaigrette. The arctic char was cured with yuzu citrus and served with sweet pieces of sesame brittle, creamy cumin aioli, and fresh micro cilantro. The last out of the sashimi section was my absolute favorite, the Hokkaido scallop. Thick chunks of luscious scallop dressed in the most divine sake infused uni jus with slices of earthy aromatic black truffle and fresh chervil. The next nine dishes were all nigiri sushi showcasing great quality seafood with interesting flavor combinations.

Fried Kumamoto Oyster Nigiri with Yuzu Kosho Aioli and Squid Ink Bubbles (8-8.5/10).

The first nigiri sushi was the fried Kumamoto oyster with yuzu kosho aioli topped with airy squid ink bubbles. The oyster was perfectly fried but mine had a small amount of grit. Regardless of that, the flavors were harmonious.

Ika/Squid Nigiri with Uni Butter, Sea Beans, and Shiso (7.5-8/10).

Next was the charred ika (squid) brushed with sea urchin butter and garnished with shiso.

Santa Barbara Sea Urchin Nigiri with Black River Osetra Caviar (9.5/10).

The next nigiri was a highlight: Santa Barbara sea urchin topped with Black River Osetra caviar. An intense explosion of rich flavors that was decadent and incredibly delicious. I could easily eat ten of these!

Bluefin Chutoro/Medium Fatty Tuna Nigiri with Herb Sauce (8.5/10).

Following the sea urchin, the bluefin chutoro (medium fatty tuna) melted in my mouth and was garnished with a refreshing herb sauce.

Anago/Saltwater Eel Nigiri with Thai Basil (8.5/10).

Next was the anago (saltwater eel) that was cooked perfectly and paired well with fragrant Thai basil.

Hamachi Belly/Yellowtail Nigiri with Yuzu Soy Marinated Sea Urchin (8/10).

The hamachi belly (yellowtail) was unctuous and topped with marinated creamy sea urchin.

Wild Spot Prawn Nigiri with Garlic Butter, White Soy, Preserved Yuzu, and Fish Roe (8.5/10).

The wild spot prawn was lightly charred with garlic butter and topped with citrusy yuzu and fish roe.

Wild Maine Sea Urchin Nigiri with Blood Orange (8.5/10).

The wild Maine sea urchin was another scrumptious bite with refreshing orange (I might have an obsession with sea urchin.).

Smoked Wagyu Beef Nigiri with Yuzu Soy Sauce (9/10).

The last of the nigiri sushi was the house smoked wagyu beef that was lightly torched and served with a yuzu soy sauce. Impeccable.

Shrimp Tempura with Bacon Truffle Emulsion with Scallion Ginger Oil (8/10).

O Ya also has a large selection of soups and salads, vegetable dishes, various egg dishes, beef/seafood dishes, tempura items, noodles, and much more that sounded sooo delicious. Besides the sashimi and sushi, we tried the shrimp tempura, crispy and light, served with a bacon truffle emulsion and pungent scallion ginger oil.

Miso Marinated Délice de Bourgogne Cheese with Aged Sake (8.5/10).

Before desserts, we tried their miso marinated Délice de Bourgogne, a French cow milk’s cheese that had incredibly unique flavor. Really tasty especially with the aged sake.

Mochi Doughnuts with Jasmine Tea Caramel (8.5/10).

The first dessert was mochi doughnuts with jasmine tea caramel. Oh my, these were sooooo delicious! Slightly chewy since they were made from mochi (pounded rice paste) coated in sugar and served with a warm jasmine tea caramel.

White Chocolate Namelaka with Yuzu Sorbet, Matcha Green Tea Spongecake, and Meringue (8/10).

The other dessert was the white chocolate namelaka, basically a creamy mousse, served with airy pieces of matcha green tea spongecake, refreshing yuzu citrus sorbet, and crunchy meringue.

Bon Bons.

While O Ya definitely doesn’t serve traditional Japanese cuisine, I appreciate their inventiveness in creating exciting takes on classic Japanese preparations. Therefore my rating is an 8.5/10.

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