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Omakase Trending in NYC

Is it just us or is a new omakase place popping up every week in New York City?

For the newbies to sushi, and maybe even those well versed, omakase is an ordering term used in sushi restaurants equivalent to ‘chef’s choice’. It is an introduction to sushi to save face for novices to the world of raw fish and preparation. This term evolved in the states as an elevated, expensive experience at top rated Japanese restaurants. Now, it’s coming back to its origin of affordable, semi-approachable sushi. 

The ‘new wave’ of omakase promotes multi-course (typically 10+) meals around $100 with elevated ingredients like gold flakes, caviar, and truffle adding a ‘bang for your buck’ vibe. The dining experience is different, as well. Often, the dish is set before you, you eat it, no questions asked. With the new omakase restaurants, there’s dance music playing in the background, colorful decor, and sometimes even chefs doing a choreographed routine between courses. While, others are keeping to a typical Japanese restaurant feel and making it about serving quality fish and unique flavors for a great deal.

There’s quite a few by Park Central and hotels near Times Square to try. The top 4 places to go right now based on price, ingredients, and experience/ambiance are:

  • Sushi On Me (Brooklyn) - Get ready for a party with bottomless sake and 80’s & 90’s hits while dining on a unique menu that changes often. Mid-meal performance may be included.
  • Domakasa (East Village) - Intimate experience. Two sushi bars, seating about 4 people per bar with your own sushi chef. Watch each dish be prepared right before your eyes. See what’s going into each dish and ask questions, and savor.
  • Sushi Ishikawa (UES & UWS) - Admittedly outside of the $100 mark at $175. This 17-course menu is perfect for when you want to celebrate or step it up for a nice dinner out. Servers are knowledgeable about every dish and maybe even have a chat with owner/chef Don Pham.
  • Sushi Lin (Soho & Brooklyn) - Two options for omakase depending on hunger level. Expect classic dishes and nigiri with surprise flavors like roasted tomato.