Yamada Chikara - $180 Kushiage Omakase

Opens today, Kushiage omakase with El Bulli trained chef… Not sure how I feel about spending $180 for Kushiage. I suppose you can argue it’s another form of ‘tempura’ in an elevated setting and ingredients so why not…

Yamada Chikara
249 E. 49th St.

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I am reserved for later this month, will report back. I haven’t had much Kushiage before, only sampled a couple of places…however, I did have Yamada Chikara bookmarked in Tokyo a while back (they don’t serve kushiage but rather a different concept). It was between this, Noda, and Gunter Seeger; I hope I chose well!

The only full on kushiage meal I’ve had was at Kushiage Dinning Horon in Torrance many years ago. It thought it was good but towards the end, crying uncle, too much fried food especially given it’s a touch heavier than tempura.

Looking forward to your report.

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Expertly prepared kushiage in a setting reminiscent of something you’d find in Tokyo. The omakase includes a sake cocktail, 2 appetizers, 12 kushiages, chirashi and dessert course. I enjoyed the separate sauce pairing with 2/3rds of the kushiages, i.e. mentaiko mayo & seaweed to pair with mochi, soft boiled yolk with tsukune etc.

Overall I thought it felt pricey at $180 before tax and tip. Wished there were more luxurious ingredients included in the omakase i.e wagyu, kuruma ebi, scallops etc.

Worth checking out if you are a fan of kushiage.