If You Like Sushi and Games of Chance, You’ll Love Omakase
Hachi Ju Hachi isn’t just a run-of-the-mill San Jose sushi spot. It’s one of the best sushi restaurants around the city, bar none. Led by Chef Jin Suzuki, the culinary team makes a mean california roll, but that doesn’t even begin to describe their level of skill and artistry. If you’re looking for the best of the best, look no further than Chef Suzuki’s always-changing omakase menu. If “cream of the ocean” was a thing, it would be the cream of the ocean.
What is omakase?
Omakase translates to “in the chef’s hands” or “chef’s choice.” There’s no set menu—it’s a multi-course meal of whatever the chef thinks tastes the best, freshest, and most unusual that day. As a corollary, there’s no set price, though Hachi Ju Hachi’s omakase is always at least $60 per person. For more information, read our in-depth profile of a Chicago omakase menu.
That’s a lot of money for dinner!
Maybe, but keep in mind: it’s really tasty, and there are a lot of courses. This is a dinner that takes time—it’s sort of like going to a show that you can eat. Plus, omakase is typically cheaper than ordering each course à la carte, making it the most practical way to experience the very best sushi on the menu.
Is omakase just sushi?
Not always. Omakase often highlights sushi and sashimi, but the chef cooks fish, too. In fact, omakase features many of the same cooking styles featured on the à la carte menu: stewing, steaming, and frying (though not usually all in one dish).
What are some dishes I might find on the omakase menu?
There are no guarantees, but past dishes have included grilled black cod with sweet red-bean cake, steamed baby bok choy with peanut sauce, and yellowtail sashimi with housemade salt. (Yes, Chef Suzuki does make his own salt, by boiling sea salt with iodized salt to achieve a mild but unusual flavor.)
Why is Hachi Ju Hachi’s omakase special?
Chef Suzuki himself often comes out and offers commentary on the dishes, explaining what they are and why he’s selected them. The omakase also comes with optional sake pairings, an extra that enhances pretty much any dish (except barbecue). It all adds up to the best meal at one of the best restaurants in San Jose.
Mae Rice is a staff writer who writes about eyelash extensions, French food, what "business casual" even means, and other style and food topics.