A Former O Ya Chef Opened an $85 Omakase Restaurant on the Upper East Side

Uni with Cape Cod scallop and uni jus. Photo: Sophie Fabbri

New York may be, as New York critic Adam Platt argues, in the late stages of “peak omakase.” The latest major Japanese opening is Sushi Ishikawa, on the Upper East Side. The chef, Don Pham, has worked in the city’s sushi scene for nearly two decades, paying his dues as the sushi chef at Morimoto, executive chef at (the now-shuttered) Geisha, and, most recently, as executive sushi chef at O Ya.

At Sushi Ishikawa, there will be just 23 seats, with 11 primo slots at the counter and the rest at tables. Two menus will be offered, with one at 12 courses for $85 — considerably less than recently opened competitors, like Suzuki and Ichimura— and another at 15 courses for $125. And Pham is going beyond raw fish — what’s served will change consistently, but right now, you can expect the likes of black abalone with mushroom soup, hairy crab, and octopus with green-tea salt. Take a look:

Kengani, or hairy crab, with pen shell scallop. Photo: Sophie Fabbri
Isaki, or Japanese grunt, with smoked salt and bonito flakes. Photo: Sophie Fabbri
Nama tako, or live octopus, with green-tea salt. Photo: Sophie Fabbri
Kuro awabi, or black abalone, with mushroom soup. Photo: Sophie Fabbri
Sushi time. Photo: Sophie Fabbri

Sushi Ishikawa, 419 E. 74th St., nr. 1st Ave.; 212-651-7292

A Former O Ya Chef Opened an $85 Omakase Restaurant