Wednesday, February 4, 2009
It began with a kumamoto oyster with watermelon pearls and cucumber mignotte. It was one of the best things I have ever eaten. Sweet. Cold. The essence of the sea, with the sweetness of the fruit. It ended with foie gras and cocoa, along with a sip of aged sake. Rich and subtly sweet. A fine and unexpected closing to an fabulous meal.
These were just 2 of the different courses and tastes that I was lucky to have recently at O Ya. My brother and sister-in-law treated me to this exceptional meal as a belated birthday gift. My husband isn't a sushi eater, but he was very willing to stay home with the kids. I am thankful to all of them as this was one of those great meals I will eat. Alas, the price for this isn't something most parents (most people) can afford. But if you can, just once, even for one or two of these plates...try it.
O Ya couldn't be any less inconspicuous-simply a flag outside on a dark street with an unmarked door in the Leather District of Boston. Yet once you figure out how to enter, you find yourself in a modern and warm space. Our waitress was not only nice, but she also helped to steer us in a great direction: the tasting menu. O Ya's menu is so unique, that having the chef make the choices (which you can limit by price, by type (sushi vs. cooked food)) means that you can sit by, relax and just enjoy. Best of all, the chef chose the progression of dishes-from cool to warm, savory to sweet.
I will do my best to list the dishes with the photos. The artistry of these little bites entails about 5 chefs (for 37 seats!). Each morsel consisted of outstanding rice with 3 to 4 other elements. The dim lighting doesn't do justice to the artistry of the plating, and the menu titles don't capture all aspects of each dish. But I have listed each dish just to give a sense of this meal.
Overall, my favorites were both of the oyster dishes, the warmth of the torched fish plates and the sweetness that Thai Basil gave to two of the pieces. Each one was pretty unforgettable.
Dish 2, pictured below: hamachi with spicy banana pepper mousse.
Dish 3 (above) : Salmon tataki, torched tomato, smoked salt, onion aioli.
Dish 4 (above): Warm eel with thai basil, kabayaki, fresh Kyoto sansho.
Dish 5 (above): Homemade la ratte potato chip, perigord black truffle.
Dish 6: (the photo is the first on this blog): Fried kumamoto oyster, yuzu kosho aioli, squid ink bubbles
Dish 7 (above): wild bluefin maguro tuna, soy braised garlic, micro greens
Dish 8: Wild Maine Ama Ebi nigiri, marinated uni hojiso (above).
Dish 9: Scottish salmon, spicy salmon ponzu, yuzu kosho and scallion oil (below).
Dish 10: Suzuki sea bass, cucumber vinagrette, avocado, cilantro
Dish 11 (above): Wild bluefin tuna tataki, smoky pickled onion, truffle oil.
Dish 12: (above) hamachi, viet mignotte, thai basil, shallot
Dish 13: peruvian style toro tataki, aji panca sauce, cilantro pesto
Dish 14: foie gras balsamic chocolate kabayaki, raisin cocoa pulp, sip of aged sake