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“Good food!”
Review of O Ya

O Ya
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Ranked #145 of 3,202 Restaurants in Boston
Certificate of Excellence
Price range: $25 - $100
Cuisines: Japanese, Sushi, Asian
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Special occasions
Dining options: Late Night, Dinner, Reservations, Seating, Serves Alcohol, Waitstaff
Dining style: Casual Elegant
Neighborhood: Downtown
Cross street: Atlantic Ave and South St
Transit: South Station on Red Line, Commuter Rail and Amtrak/Acela.
st. louis
Level Contributor
32 reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 14 helpful votes
“Good food!”
Reviewed July 15, 2012

Loved the atmosphere and the wait staff was extremely helpful. High quality food and lots of interesting choices...

  • Visited July 2012
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank sgordy
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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256 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
    181
    48
    18
    5
    4
Rating summary
    Food
    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
  • Chinese (Simplified) first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Japanese first
  • Portuguese first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Boston, Massachusetts
Level Contributor
47 reviews
28 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 32 helpful votes
“fantastic meal”
Reviewed July 12, 2012

O Ya, located in the Leather District is an amazing place for a very special meal for people into top notch Japanese food. We had some of the most incredible and interesting sushi and nigiri -some of the flavor combinations were unique and incredible and worth it even if a bit on the pricey side.-although not for someone who does not eat raw fish or vegetarian (unless you eat fish). Service was outstanding, knowledgeable (including the sake sommelier). Really special. Not a great place for someone o a budget or a big appetite or looking for mainstream Japanese. Small and make a reservation

  • Visited July 2012
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
1 Thank LH26
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
California
Level Contributor
64 reviews
50 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 28 helpful votes
“extravagantly unique, but...”
Reviewed July 10, 2012

...nearly impossible to find- taxi driver never heard of it or the street, but worth the search. Depressing atmosphere., but an extravaganza of culinary delights, with an excellent "tour guide" waitperson - essential because of the extensive and varied menu of never-before-experienced bites. A tour de force of sushi in Boston -- and don't miss the clam chowder. In toto, a dining adventure which was non plus ultra. A hundred new tastes which will astonish and delight your palate. Definitely a one-of-a-kind dining experience. No prob with reservations if you call early and are happy at a table rather than bar.

  • Visited February 2012
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank AQB
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Boston
Level Contributor
95 reviews
50 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 80 helpful votes
“Technically good, but soulless and cold”
Reviewed June 17, 2012

Let me say from the start that a deal-breaker for us when dining out is when, at the meal's conclusion, bill paid, we head for the door, no one bothers to say thank you, let alone good-bye. The sound of crickets whistling in the night is only amplified when as a table of four you have just spent more than $1,000, including an overly generous $180 gratuity.

And so it was at O Ya, the 4 or 5-year-old conceit by a fellow named Tim Cushman and his wife in my home city's South Station area. For 5 years we have been wondering who goes here and certainly none of our friends have wanted to splash out on what is known to be the most expensive table in the City/. And so when out of town friends who enjoy food as much as we do invited us to join them Saturday night, we gladly agreed. In for a penny, in for a pound. We ordered the Omakase for something like $175. (and, yes, you do need this much food to satisfy your hunger. And I am a small guy.)

The single-bite morsels are good, no argument. Even outstanding and inspired at times. And I am not sushi connoisseur but you do not need to be one to know that ever-so-lightly fried oyster tastes of the sea and is perfectly uncooked inside and that complex sauces and gels and foams all add to marvelous complexity of flavor. I liked -- we all liked -- the food. No doubt about that. And we had a wonderful time but this was likely due to meeting our friend's new fiancé for the first time and catching up on each others' lives. Yet it somehow O Ya fell flat for us. I want to like it more than I did. But when a restaurant is serving what is arguably the priciest meal bite-for-bite in town, I expect more. What exactly? Perhaps graciousness? Humility? A surprise? An orchid at the end of the bar that is not covered in dust? A rest room that is as spotless and impeccable as the precious dishes set before us? A thank you and a good-bye? If a restaurant is going to set itself out to excel at this level, then everything must sparkle and nothing must falter, even at midnight when only two sets of diners remain and the chefs at the sushi bar are rather noticeably cleaning up and kicking back. For this busy and rarified a restaurant, a porter might be in order to tidy the loo between uses.

Sorry, but as good as some of the dishes were (and I will likely be back to try an a la carte experience and hone in on some of the flavors I enjoyed), the food just seemed so perfunctory, and the service pleasant and knowledgeable, but certainly not overly gracious. It is all just somehow ... what is the word ... forced. The devil (of God, depending on whom you ask) is in the details and perhaps the most telling was the pace of the meal. At the start of our 17-courses, when the restaurant was measurably busier than toward the end, the pace was noticeably slow and by the conclusion, when ours was the last party being served, they were practically flinging the plates. Let's say the pace was uneven. But overall effect of these shortcomings is that O Ya is making the experience about them and not about the diner.

Worth a trip if you can afford it, but meal of a lifetime? I have a short list and this is not on it.

  • Visited June 2012
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
7 Thank amhjr
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Boston
Level Contributor
36 reviews
30 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 18 helpful votes
“One of the top restaurants in the country!”
Reviewed June 3, 2012

Yes it is expensive. Yes the portions are small. But it is by far the best. We have been going to O Ya since it opened. I needed to write this, because I could not believe how far off the mark trip advisor's reviewers are. This IS the place to go in Boston. Unbelievably good food!

  • Visited April 2012
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
1 Thank TobyBoston
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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