When you request omakase from a sushi chef, you are saying something like, “I put myself in your hands.” At many sushi restaurants, it’s no big deal—you request omakase, and the sushi chef picks some lovely items for you to try. At higher-end establishments, they may want you to make a reservation or call ahead so that the availability of special items can be assured. There may be a set price for omakase, ranging from perhaps $30 to $500 a plate, and some establishments let you name your price and then serve accordingly.
Getting to know a sushi chef—and letting him get to know your tastes—is a long-term way to ensure a fantastic omakase experience. thunderbug84 notes that Japan is a gift-giving culture, and it’s appropriate to buy your chef a sake or give him a present to express your appreciation for sharing his art with you. But it’s not necessary, says Aiceegray—most chefs are just happy that their customers are interested in what they’re eating.
Board Links: Omakase Question.