Skip to main content

Frank You Did Me So Wrong

O Ya
9 East Street
Boston, MA 02111
(617) 654-9900
Chef Tim Cushman
Dinner only Tuesday through Saturday

I adored Frank Bruni's sarcasm and writing style as much as I admired his taste in food-- until now. Whatever points he gained by recommending 15 East (one of my must-eat places whenever I am in New York), he lost it all with his crazy recommendation of O Ya. This place could only be described as the evil spawn of Nobu and Morimoto.

The three Asian sushi chefs behind the counter are trying to remain motivated among diners who would prefer to eat a deep fried spicy tuna hand roll with tempura flakes coated in truffle oil mayonnaise, as opposed to an actual fresh piece of fish. I saw a couple of regulars steal the tiny wooden spoons that Japanese restaurant provide for dishes like chawan mushi-- seriously people, go to a freakin kitchen store and BUY SOME!! In any event, I digress. My only point is when the dining audience is stupid, I guess one should not be surprised at the scariness coming out of the kitchen.

There is so much overmanipulation of every dish that any original flavor that any of the seafood might have had is extinguished to oblivion, leaving behind ill-conceived sauces and combinations that are too hideous to imagine. There is not enough toothpaste or Pepto in the world for me to be able to forget this meal quickly.

Especially since the sushi counter is a prominent (albeit mostly ignored by diners) part of the restaurant, I was flabbergasted to see my hamachi with julienned apples and jalapeno sauce (yes, it tasted exactly as good as good as it sounds-- shudder-- but it gets better) sit on the counter after the sushi chef had prepared it, have a server whisk it away, in the opposite direction from me into the HOT kitchen, and then I waited. And waited. And waited. And watched my server walk around the dining room (he wasn't slacking; he was quite busy), then go back to the kitchen, pick up my raw fish, which has been sitting in the warm kitchen this whole time, in all of its sauced glory, for a solid five minutes before it was returned to me, sitting at the counter. What kind of idiocy is that?

Even knowing that it is not the server's fault and that it is likely some management policy, I could not help but yell at him for how the restaurant was treating that poor fish. If there was a remote possibility of that original preparation tasting good, it was killed by the extra time sitting on the plate in the warm kitchen until the dish came back out and was presented to me at the counter, sitting six inches away from the chef who prepared it.

But even the rest of the fish that did not necessarily take a journey around the restaurant before being served were mostly mealy and awful, not to mention hideously overseasoned with things like spicy banana pepper mousse, something they call osetra caviar but tasted like oversalted paddlefish roe way past its prime, ceviche vinaigrette, cumin aioli, and sake sea urchin jus.

I had ordered the grand omakase and had to stop the bleeding two-thirds of the way into the meal. It was too painful. No ingredient or cook should be made to suffer like that. At least I could do something about it and walk out.


Munir said…
Among the sturgeon species it is the beluga sturgeon that produces the beluga caviar and the Russian sturgeon that produces the osetra caviar. Again, the stellate sturgeon produces the sevruga caviar. All these are varieties of fine caviar. The American paddlefish caviar- roe of a special fresh water sturgeon comes in many shades and ranges from pale grey to dark steel and has a smooth and silky texture and rich, complex flavor.
Jess said…
Just wanted to say that I'm a huge fan of your site- your writing is at a level that I someday hope to rise to! Keep it up!

Popular posts from this blog

Ambivalent About Momofuku

First, am I the only person who thinks "Momofuku" does not mean Lucky Peach or refer to the name of some obscure ramen person from Japan but actually means "Mother F_ker"?

That seems particularly obvious with the name of the latest chicken sandwich spinoff, FUKU.  Seriously has no one noticed, or is he now so powerful that no one acknowledges, that David Chang is flipping off all of Manhattan?

Having said that, I must say I have had so much bad pork belly in many restaurants that I have to respect the fact that he can maintain a certain level of quality despite having opened one chain outpost after another.  Not even Danny Meyer can claim that with the horribly inconsistent Shake Shacks in Washington DC.

Soul sucking, maybe.  That City Center Momofuku is very corporate, albeit quite convenient (and certainly better than the Boulud DBGB that opened nearby).

However, the Momofuku Ramen did lose something in the chain process.  The broth tasted like someone dumped a c…

Places I've Eaten in the San Francisco Bay Area

Places I've Eaten in Philadelphia

Places I would go back to eat

Geno's Steaks
Pat's King of Steaks

I am not really certain whether there is such thing as a "great cheesesteak," but in the battle of the two famous cheesesteak stands (only compared "wit-out, cheese whiz" combination), Pat's has better meat and bread, relatively speaking. Geno's roll has a spongier texture, and its cheese whiz was a bit watery (they also have the strangest tasting fries I have ever tried, like they were made from fake potatoes?).