Like the Boston original, Tim and Nancy Cushman's New York iteration of o ya serves an exciting array of nigiri, sake, and sashimi. If going the a la carte route, get the fried kumamoto oyster, topped with bubbled squid ink and yuzu kosho aioli, the salty-yet-sweet foie gras topped with chocolate kabayaki, and the fingerling potato chip topped with a black truffle. For a bit more of a splurge, O Ya offers two tasting options - which come with all the above - at $185 for 17 courses or $285 for 24 courses per person, without pairings. As is the case with most places on this list, request a spot at the counter. Chat with the wonderfully friendly sommeliers about endless pairing options.
The best sushi you’ll ever have in your life, ever. This upscale Japanese restaurant quite literally blew us away with its inventive Grand Tasting menu, comprising of no less than 24 dishes, including a mind-numbingly good warm eel with Thai basil and pickled cucumber, Maine sea urchin with aji amarillo vinaigrette and foie gras balsamic chocolate kabayaki, claudio corallo raison cocoa pulp sip of aged sake, all accompanied with refined sakes (tasting menu from around £135 per person, reservations here). Extra fun fact for you: this is Blake Lively and Ryan Reynold’s favourite restaurant, and they actually had their first date in O Ya’s Boston branch.
September 13th, 2017
"But now you go to these nice places, there’s a place [in New York] that started in Boston called O Ya, and it’s one of my favorite sushi places. They sauce it for you, the fish is unbelievable, It doesn’t need anything else."
September 7, 2017
Boston’s O Ya has been around for quite some time—it opened in 2007, was named the best new restaurant in the country by The New York Times a year later, and even branched out to New York City in 2015—but it’s still hailed as one of the country’s best places to enjoy omakase. Chef-owner Tim Cushman, a former restaurant consultant who fell hard for Japanese cooking, has a talent for creative combinations, such as the one nearly every critic calls out—foie gras nigiri with balsamic chocolate kabayaki and raisin cocoa pulp. Caviar, truffles, and gold leaf also show up on the menu, so opulence is pretty much a guarantee. ($185 to $245)
April 27, 2017
Run by Chef Tim Cushman and his wife, Nancy, O Ya offers imaginative sushi and Japanese small plates, like pork ribs soaked in a smoky-flavored lapsang souchong tea for over 24 hours. The dish is served with sesame seeds and Japanese leeks.
The small and welcoming space of its original Boston location is a comfortable setting for enjoying the various plates of seafood delicacies.
April 25, 2017
The room lacks the intimacy of a great sushi bar, it’s true, but if you don’t feel like groveling for a seat at one of the city’s stuffy omakase palaces, Tim and Nancy Cushman’s spacious establishment will do just fine. The vibe is refreshingly relaxed, getting a seat at the bar doesn’t involve a monthlong wait, and the well-trained team of chefs can twirl up just about anything your heart desires — from glimmering Edo-style slips of kohada shad, to soft pats of freshwater eel flavored with a modish cutting of Thai basil, to addictive vegetable-sushi creations constructed with Italian summer truffles and a single, carefully fried fingerling-potato chip.
March 16 2017
Owners Tim and Nancy Cushman set a new bar for special-event dining with O Ya’s opening in 2007; even today the restaurant regularly wins accolades as the best restaurant in town, if not in the country (that’s according to the New York Times’ Frank Bruni).
Mar 30, 2017
Sushi Nakazawa and O-Ya – two splurge-y restaurants for sushi and fish. You can request no meat dishes and have an outrageous omakase (chef’s choice) meal. Sushi Nakazawa is on Barrow Street in the Village. O-Ya is in Murray Hill. Both feature superstar food talents, Chef Daisuke Nakazawa, a protégé of Japan’s acclaimed Jiro Ono and the O-Ya team from Boston, Tim and Nancy Cushman.
Mar 27, 2017
Tim Cushman, chef and co-owner, cites a BLT sushi roll he ate during a trip to Japan as the inspiration for using surprising and unlikely ingredients to top his fish and rice dishes.
March 24, 2017
Boston's acclaimed spot for omakase action offers some of the most distinctive plating to hide behind a sushi hashtag. Outrageous seasonal specials like matsutake mushroom and white alba truffle nigiri take an already-decadent menu over the top.
October 25, 2016
Tasting Table mentioned O Ya in their piece, “Sake It to Me,” which talks of O Ya Boston’s staff discovering how well a bottle of junmai paired with pepperoni pizza.
October 26, 2016
“Flavors like you’d never believe” are found in the “beautifully presented” omakase meals at this modern Japanese in Murray Hill’s Park South Hotel
October 26, 2016
Zagat included O Ya in their list of “NYC's Best for Omakase.”
November 3, 2016
A Sommelier for Water? Seven Ways Somms Are Moving Past Wine.
September 23, 201
Inside the Costly, Rarified World of the Omakase Menu
October 26, 2016
Zagat included O Ya in their list of “NYC's Best for Sake.”
May 17, 2016
The Absolute Best Sushi Omakase 2016
May 16, 2016
BITE: My Journal by Gael Greene
O Ya, No Regrets. Pretend You Can Afford It
11 January 2016
"This restaurant will seriously redefine the way you think of sushi." "New York has many incredible sushi restaurants, but O Ya completely redefines the category with options like hamachi with banana pepper mousse or housemade fingerling potato chip with burgundy truffle, all elegantly plated." — By Kristen Bateman
15 December 2015
O Ya Adds an a La Carte Menu
"Lucky for us, they recently launched an à la carte menu for those looking to avoid the hefty price tag (but still sample O Ya's succulent concoctions)... ...Prices range from $10 to $279.99 (for a ritzy wagyu take on "steak frites"), but trust us when we say this joint is worth whatever you can afford to spend spend."
28 October 2015
The 100 best dishes and drinks in NYC 2015: Foie gras with chocolate chip at O Ya
20 October 2015
The Neverending Meal
"The idea is to experience “a slew of flavor profiles, textures, temperatures and spice levels” in one sitting, said its chef, Tim Cushman, who runs the 55-seat restaurant with his wife, Nancy."
3 August 2015
The Sky-High Priced Sushi New York Didn't Know It Wanted
"O Ya, in midtown Manhattan, inhabits the ground floor of the Park South Hotel. O Ya (the words a Japanese expression of discovery like, ah, ha!) is a hidden cove, barely a sign to mark its place, fully embracing the Japanese love of creating tough-to-find restaurants."
28 July 2015
New York City's 12 Hottest Sushi Restaurants
"Locating sushi in NYC is simple, but not all rolls are created equal. Here's a guide to 12 great restaurants that opened in the past three years. Some are super affordable while others are pricey, but all of them serve terrific sushi."
13 July 2015
In Pursuit of Umami
"This week on Japan Eats, host Akiko Katayam is in studio with Tim Cushman, the heralded chef and owner of O Ya with locations in Boston and most recently, New York City."
2012 James Beard Foundation Restaurant and Chef Awards Best Chefs in America Chefs who have set new or consistent standards of excellence in their respective regions. Each candidate may be employed by any kind of dining establishment and must have been a working chef for at least the past 5 years.
Tim and Nancy Cushman moved into their beautifully rustic wedge of Leather District real estate, a former firehouse on a crooked side street, and set up shop as a minimalist sushi bar with little fanfare. Maximum, however, is the only way to explain its impact---and the serious buzz has yet to let up. That’s because chef Tim, a Nobu Matsuhisa protégé, is the real deal, as is his wife, a saké sommelier. You'd be hard pressed to find a local repertoire, Japanese or otherwise, as creative and globally influenced as his---only Clio/Uni, Oishii and Neptune Oyster come immediately to mind---and few are as pricey, bite for bite.
1 February 2014
Where to get the freshest, purest, and most delicious sushi in the states.
Fried kutamoto oyster nigiri at O Ya, in Boston
In his hard-to-find restaurant with high ceilings and dark brick walls, chef-owner Tim Cushman brilliantly and improbably combines his Japanese training with his New England background in dishes like grilled lobster with shiso tempura, seared foie gras nigiri in aged sake, and fried Kumamoto oysters with yuzu aioli and squid-ink bubbles.. Nancy Cushman’s sake list covers several grades of artisanal bottlings, such as junmai daiginjo.
Rare is the restaurant that offers a $285 tasting menu and plays Vanilla Ice in the dining room. But the unobtrusive environs here—paired with the bites of exquisite sashimi, of course—are precisely what make this restaurant a jewel. The front-of-house staffers, meanwhile, radiate a friendly, casual energy while also displaying a staggering knowledge of all things sushi, wine, and sake.
21 November 2008
Okay – first let me thank everyone for their patience waiting for the new site. It’s looking great but we’re just *this close* (that’s painfully close) to being ready to launch. Solving a few lost-in-translation issues, then we’re good to go. I have come to believe “Joomla” is Dutch for “Hidden Spellcheck” but that’s a story for another day…maybe it’s Swahili for “Every draft WordPress autosaved is new again.” But really, let’s not get me started here.
Each “utterly amazing” plate is presented as “a work of art” at chef Tim Cushman’s “exceptional” Leather District izakaya, a sushi lover’s “dream come true” (especially if splurging on a grand omakase tasting that feels like “a dining experience of a lifetime”); dinner will “definitely cost you an arm and a fin”, but “attentive” service and a “discreet, relaxing” ambiance ensure that “if you can afford it”, it’s “worth every cent.”
Most chefs who open their own restaurants have résumés that include experience in some of the most famous kitchens in the world. But, rather than reflecting the mentorship of a Gagnaire or a Keller, Tim Cushman draws his influence from Asia - specifically, from Japanese izakaya chefs. Cushman’s menu is a delight to read, and filled with interesting-sounding creations like small plates of hamachi with spicy banana-pepper mousse and fried Kumamoto oyster with yuzu aioli and squid ink bubbles.
11 October 2011
At O Ya, Tim Cushman creates some of the best Japanese-inspired food I’ve tasted, whether it’s crisp bacon-like salmon skin ($10) with a smear of smoked aioli, secured to the rice with a strip of dried seaweed; or the slightly chewy foie gras gyoza ($18) with the lush gush of melting liver inside, modulated with the sharp contrast of pink peppercorns and Kyoto sansho.
27 February 2008
I HAD called once to make my reservation, and then again to confirm it, but it wasn’t until I telephoned to say I was running late that I really heard the greeting.
“Thank you for calling Ubuntu,” a woman chirped, pausing for a comma before adding, “restaurant and yoga studio.”
And yoga studio?
From Las Vegas to Sydney, these new restaurants belong on any traveler’s don’t-miss list.
27 Sept 2009
For dinner it's off to the Leather District's O Ya, named the country's best new restaurant by the New York Times in 2007. Tim Cushman and his team of sushi masters work with super-fresh seasonal fish to create flavorful takes on traditional Japanese fare and pair them with a winning sake and wine list.
01 June 2008
Before Tim Cushman turned his attention to chicken wings, the poultry’s finest hour came when a barkeep in Buffalo, N.Y., fried them, slathered them in sauce, and sold them for a dime apiece. At O Ya (617.654.9900, www.oyarestaurantboston.com), the sleek yet inviting 40-seat Japanese-American establishment that Cushman runs with his wife, Nancy, he soaks a single wing for a day in a brine of tea, honey, and the juice of a yuzu, an Asian citrus fruit.
7 May 2012
O Ya, Boston
This is Tim’s second nomination and his first win. If Tim could have a meal with anyone, it would be Jimi Hendrix and a guitar jam would be on the menu.
19 March 2008
WHEN I set out to sample more than a dozen of the most promising new restaurants around the country, I knew that I’d have some special meals, and I suspected that I’d want to pack up a few of the restaurants and bring them back to New York. But I didn’t expect to find myself as blissed-out as I was while dining at the two places that have made it to this final installment of “Restaurant Survivor.”
31 May 2007
Boston may be one of the few remaining cities that doesn't have an outpost of Nobu, the restaurant that seems to want to do for haute Japanese fusion what Starbucks did for coffee. And that's just as well -- it leaves more room for independent restaurants like Uni, Oga's, and Oishii to flourish, each with its own take on carefully curated morsels of raw fish.
4 January 2008
Calling a restaurant “very New York” may not be a politically correct compliment in these parts. And yet, the label fits. With its sleek design, sake sommelier, and mind-blowing food (we’ve heard at least one diner, upon sampling the foie gras nigiri with balsamic chocolate kabayaki, wish out loud that “sex could be this good”), O Ya outshines all the stunning additions to the city’s dining scene this year—not to mention anything we’ve tasted you-know-where.
3 January 2008
If you want to know anything about the sake on Nancy Cushman's well-edited list at O Ya, be prepared to give your undivided attention. Cushman, co-owner of the Japanese restaurant in the Leather District, describes the qualities of each sake the way an art history professor might rhapsodize about the different phases of Picasso's life. Meibo Midnight Moon has melon and apple notes.
Americans have a love for sushi that has matured beyond maguro. Whether you are new to sushi or have been eating it all your life, Hiroko Shimbo's book,The Sushi Experience (Knopf 2006) is a terrific investment. It would make a beautiful holiday gift for any sushi-lover on your list. This book goes beyond the typical cookbook. It offers beautiful illustrations, photographs, explanations of terms, etiquette, techniques, history.
Boston Import O Ya Is New York’s Newest Omakase Option
"Tim and Nancy Cushman have opened an outpost of O Ya — their beloved Boston sushi restaurant — inside Gramercy's Park South Hotel."
5 June 2015
Preview: Boston's O Ya and Its Outstanding Sushi Hit NYC
"In the category of dreams that come true: I’ve been the hugest fan of Tim Cushman and his Boston restaurant O Ya since he was an F&W Best New Chef 2008. (That same year, then-New York Times restaurant critic Frank Bruni picked O Ya as his #1 top new restaurant in the country.) O Ya specializes in genius sushi dishes that range from classic to off-the-wall; from cleanly flavored to rich and indulgent." To read more...
3 June 2015
Boston's Acclaimed O Ya Opens in NYC on Friday
"New York City is about to get one more amazing omakase option. Chef Tim Cushman and sake sommelier Nancy Cushman's hotly-anticipated O Ya will finally open its doors at the Park South Hotel this Friday."
9 June 2015
O Ya, a Boston Favorite, Comes to New York
"Now, they have brought an edition of their restaurant to New York, having been lured by a hotelier. The gracious room, with a long counter and tables, combines rough brick, satiny wood and well-calibrated lighting. Mr. Cushman, who worked in Japan, offers two tasting menus, at $185 and $245. Both menus start with sushi, segue to some inventive sashimi, a mushroom dish, then wagyu and lastly foie gras. There are also East-meets-West desserts like custard with yuzu sherbet, matcha and fruit." To read more...
1 August 2014
We talked to Boston Magazine about the magic of food and music and its influence on O YA. Read our thoughts on collaborations, karaoke, and the secrets behind a successful kitchen. Learn why we chose the Verb for Hojoko.
O YA heralded as #1 out of 50 Best Restaurants 2014 by Boston Magazine! Described as being "laid-back" and "endearingly dorky," the magazine praises our use of ingredients and techniques. We love that they mention how we maintain a welcoming environment; it's not only for the cool kids!
June 3 2015
Boston's Acclaimed O Ya Joins Manhattan's Serious Sushi Scene This Friday
"This Friday, Boston all-stars Tim and Nancy Cushman open the New York outpost of O Ya, their excellent sushi restaurant. It occupies a space on the ground floor of the Park South Hotel, and though it joins the more casual rooftop bar they opened there last year, in many ways it could be considered their true arrival in New York City."
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