Omakase: A Japanese phrase meaning “it’s up to you,” or, colloquially, Chef’s Choice. You can do this at just about any sushi restaurant, from the one in Jiro Dreams of Sushi (must see!) to the one down the road in Minnesota. Omakase requires that you as a diner be adventurous and relinquish control…. Once you do, you will (usually) be glad you did.
The first time I tried Omakase, I got in a little over my head. It was 6:00 AM at a 12-person restaurant inside the Tsukiji fish market in Tokyo after a night out dancing until 4:00. I found myself face to face with fish skin, fish eyes and sea urchin, which is exceptionally chewy. Side note – never use the bathroom at the fish market. I learned the hard way.
The most recent time we tried Omakase was Monday night at Sushi Fix in Wayzata, and it was glorious. We chatted it up with a couple of Mongolian comedians turned sushi chefs while they prepared a variety of fresh, creative, beautiful and balanced dishes for us. Hamachi and jalapeño. Shishito peppers with bonito flakes. The Mistletoe roll. A snowcrab roll. It was one surprise after another.
Bring a friend, be brave and try Omakase. The chef will love you for it and you may discover something entirely new you can’t live without!
Until We Eat Again,
Two (30-something) Happy Cooks