Jesus Christ, there are a lot of sushiya in New York City that focus on an Omakase. I actually used some fancy data scraping (no big deal) to deep dive the numbers a few months ago for the SushiShinbun (our newsletter), and it came out to 175. To put that number in context, there are only 53 garbage cans on the streets of Manhattan (approximate count).
And yet, an argument could be made that given the volume of residents (8.5m), the volume of tourists (50m, none of whom will cook in their hotel/illegal short-term rental) and the income levels (several of the US’ wealthiest zip codes are nearby), that number still has room to grow.
World renowned itamae, ambitious entrepeneuers and bloodsucking hospitality groups have taken notice, despite the well-known failure rates and challenging margins in the restaurant business (though, for a few reasons, omakase-focused spots tend to collect higher margins).
That boon is great for all of us, but can be overwhelming. Below, I’ve collected the full list, available for download and sharing..I’ve reviewed many of these, so poke around the website accordingly.
Some guidelines: the courses are approximate and can change nightly based on a host of factors. The pricing doesn’t include gratuities (which is included at some sushiya, extra at others – so tip generously). And to qualify, a restaurant has to offer an Omakase AND it must have some nigiri. Now, “Omakase” translates loosely as “leave it to you”, so some people will try and tell you sushi doesn’t have to be included. My response to that is: my list, my rules. Go enjoy your Ice Cream Omakase at Morgenstern’s (a real, very scary thing) and gold foil sushi without me.
Cheers as always.