Went to Ematei Japanese Restaurant over the weekend. I usually go there to eat ramen, kaki-fry (deep-fried oysters; Ematei's version is lovely and plump, unlike the mangy ones you tend to get at other places) and some saba (mackerel) sashimi, but this time I tried the $40 omakase (Chef's Choice).
I wasn't expecting much for $40, after having experienced the fabulous but much more expensive omakase (approximately $100) at the likes of Sushi Kaji and Hashimoto. Well! What a pleasant surprise. There are seven courses - the night I was there, they offered: amuse-bouche plate, sushi, sashimi, clear soup, fried tofu, tempura softshell crab, teriyaki bass, buckwheat noodles, yokan (sweet bean jelly)....hey, that's more than seven courses. The courses were served at a civilized pace, the presentation was lovely, and the food was great.
You're not getting artisanal, uber-chef food, but it's a wonderful dinner for $40. And I should mention that Ematei is not one of those low-rent, Sushi Time-type restaurants that unfortunately seem to be everywhere these days; it's authentic and old-school Japanese, with a Japanese chef.
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