When I blew threw Boston on my way home from Maine, Will Chen gave me one assignment: Go eat at O Ya. Wait, why would I eat Asian food in Boston? As usual, Will yelled at me to just listen to him and do as he said, so off I went.
I knew that it was going to be an upscale experience from the prices, but they are a casual-smart restaurant, so you could show up in jeans and a polo shirt and still be okay. O Ya is in a building that used to be a firehouse, located on a little side street in Boston’s Leather District. Chef Tim Cushman is a Nobu Matsuhisa protegè and his wife Nancy is a sake sommelier, so … yeah. That’s why you should eat Asian food in Boston. Be prepared for a meal that’s creative, authentic and fresh.
You can opt to order ala carte, which I would do if you’re not a big eater. The thing here is the 21-course grand omakase, though, and there are some things on the omakase menu that you cannot order ala carte. So the question becomes, do you want the big prize, or can you live without it? Each course is just one or two bites, but it does fill you up. By the end, I had the waitress coaching me in person and Will coaching me in text to help me finish. Every bite was wonderful, though, so if I’m not describing anything below in detail, it doesn’t mean I didn’t love it. I just loved some things more.
The menu changes slightly with the seasons and I took a printed copy with me, but when I finally sat down to write this, I couldn’t find it. So I apologize that I can’t tell you what a few items are — but again, everything was wonderful, so it doesn’t matter.
Would I go back? O Ya, I would! The food was exquisite and, as you can see, also showcased the fresh products that Boston has to offer. Would I do the omakase again? Maybe. At $285 a pop, it’s spendy, but as you can see from the ingredients and the special preparations, it’s quite worth it. (Note that this was the grand omakase; there is a lesser omakase at $185.) The question for me is how hungry I am — maybe I’ll walk the distance to and from my hotel, next time.
9 East St.
Boston, MA 02111