Omakase, which translates to “I’ll leave it up to you,” is a way of dining in a sushi restaurant in which customers leave the choice to the chef and eat whatever is served. It’s a chance for the chef to show off his or her skills and showcase seasonal ingredients or an unusual flavor combination. Diners sit facing the chef, and the meal can be tailored to the diner’s taste or built around a certain ingredient. An omakase-style meal often invokes a fine-dining experience with seasonal and high-end ingredients. Omakase was once considered inaccessible and pricey, but this is not the case anymore. We’ve rounded up some popular sushi restaurants in North Jersey where diners can enjoy an omakase experience without traveling far.
Domodomo | 200 Greene Street, Jersey City
(Photo credit: @domodomojc)
Located in a well-lit, zen-vibes space, the restaurant is fancy enough for big occasions but also easy-going enough for casual dining. The omakase comes with ten pieces of sushi, two pieces of seasonal sashimi, a handroll, accompanied with miso soup, relishes, grilled octopus, beef tartare, abalone, lobster tempura, wagyu beef over rice, and a dessert. The price is $140 per person. The regular menu offers a large variety of sushi bar choices as well as hot dishes.
Honshu | 95 Greene Street, Jersey City
(Photo credit: @honshujc)
Honshu is one of the few local restaurants that offer omakase for delivery. It costs $75 and comes with eleven pieces of sushi, sashimi, and a roll. The fish selection includes many unique choices such as gizzard shard, bonito, and sea urchin. (no “general fish” such as salmon, tuna, or yellowtail, as the restaurant advertises.) Hot dishes and sake are also available on the regular menu.
Monroe’s | 36-42 Newark Street
(Photo credit: @monroeshoboken)
This sushi and cocktail lounge and restaurant is named after the one and only Marilyn Monroe – there’s a gorgeous mural in the interior to showcase it. It’s the latest spot to offer omakase as part of its menu. More details are to unfold about the new experience.
Saku | 936 Park Avenue, Hoboken
(Photo credit: @saku_hoboken)
The long-standing Hoboken sushi spot is known for its innovative rolls, sake, Japanese whiskey, and craft cocktails. The 45-minute omakase experience, which was launched in February, is available every Wednesday and Thursday. It includes an hors d’oeuvre, sushi of the chef’s choice, a handroll, and miso soup. The sushi is of the same fusion style as Saku’s other dishes, featuring items such as salmon with truffle, or scallop with caviar. The price is $65 per person and reservations are required.
Shumi | 70 E Ridgewood Avenue, Ridgewood
(Photo credit: Shumi)
The Ridgewood restaurant offers two levels of omakase meals at lunch ($60 regular or $100 chef special) and dinner ($80 regular and $120 chef special) and a large variety of Japanese-inspired dishes and fusion-style rolls. The owner and chef David Seo has over 20 years of culinary experience and is a student of the master chef, Kunihiko Aikasa, who is also with the restaurant. The fish are sourced from both local and foreign suppliers. Shumi is also a BYOB.
Sushi Aoki | 215 Main Street, Suite104, Fort Lee
(Photo credit: Sushi Aoki)
Thrillist calls it “New Jersey’s most authentic option for traditional omakase sushi.” Owner and Chef Masashi Aoki was for many years executive chef at Sushi of Gari 46, a famous NYC establishment. The ten-seat sushi bar, which opened in February 2021 in Fort Lee, offers an intimate fine dining experience. There are three omakase choices, priced at $120, $150, and $200 respectively. The price difference reflects the number of pieces served, and the $120 option will change to $135 starting April 1. Many seasonal ingredients are flown in from Japan three times a week. BYOB
Sushi By Bou | 218 Newark Avenue, Jersey City
(Photo credit: @sushibybou_)
The concept, at least at the time of its 2017 launch in NYC, was novel: diners can eat a 12-piece, $50 omakase in 30 or 60 minutes. The restaurant has since expanded to nine locations in New York, New Jersey, Florida, and Chicago. The Jersey City location is at an eight-seat sushi bar inside Ani Ramen. The 60-minute experience offers a range of fish and preparations. Guests can top off their meals with craft cocktails, sakes, or Japanese beers.
Sushi By Sea | Undisclosed Location
Launched in November, this is New Jersey’s second by-invitation-only restaurant (The first was Pasta Ramen, launched in early 2021). The concept is simple: ask for an invitation, and show up at the designated time and place – usually at a local restaurant – where dinner is served. According to Northjersey.com, the 16-course omakase meal (with complimentary sake) is served twice a month and costs $150 per person, which might vary depending on the fish served. There are 24 spots available each time. To get invited, send an inquiry through the website.
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Umeya | 156 Piermont Road, Cresskill
(Photo credit: Umeya)
Umeya started 30 years ago as a caterer and supplier of gourmet Japanese ingredients. Owing to the early success, the sushi bar opened in 1996 and serves sushi, rolls, and typical Japanese dishes. The omakase option comes with 9 pieces of the chef’s choice and costs $40. Sake is available as well.
Yamagata | 1636 Palisade Avenue, Fort Lee
(Photo credit: Yamagata)
is a low-key spot that makes affordable sushi. It does offer an omakase experience which comes with ten pieces of sushi for $60. A la carte options are plenty, and there are also many homey Japanese dishes such as katsu, deep-fried cutlets, and totoro, a traditional yam soup.