Executive Chef Kevin Yanaga’s 25-course Omakase dinner is a dream for any sushi lover

-Brenda Hillegas

Thanks to Chef Kevin Yanaga, I don’t think I’ll ever be able to eat sushi the same way again! Last night at a very exclusive Omakase dinner- a chef’s table tucked into the back of Izakaya by Yanaga in Fishtown- a group of eight people got to enjoy a massive sushi meal made fresh in front of us, piece by piece. Chef Yanaga, aka Philly’s sushi whisperer, brings over 10 years of experience in restaurants like Izakaya at Borgata, Double Knot, Pod, Morimoto and Zama. After working with Stephen Starr, Michael Schulson and some of the biggest names in the business, Yanaga partnered with Glu Hospitality for Izakaya by Yanaga which opened just about a year ago. Now, for something completely different, you can book a spot at the Chef’s table for a sushi experience you won’t get at the front of the house.

Are you ready to enjoy 25 courses? All in the hands of Chef Kevin Yanaga?

Omakase is a Japanese phrase that means “it’s up to you” when ordering food. The Chef creates the courses, so no two menus will be the same. What you get will be fresh, made right in front of you, and feel free to ask any questions you may have. Due to the uniqueness of this dinner, dietary restrictions can’t be accommodated. If you’re vegetarian, have certain allergies (soy, gluten, shellfish), or are kosher, unfortunately you’ll have to sit this one out. But if none of that applies to you and you’re ready for an adventure, go see the Chef!

The Chef walked us through each dish, telling us what he was using to create it and making sure everyone had a chance for a close up view. There’s something to be seen no matter where you are sitting at the table.

Take some pics and videos to show off to your friends, but be sure to also sit back and watch the action. At our event, Chef served up a smoked salmon (smoked in front of us) and topped with lime zest. He took time to carefully create each course and made sure everything he plated was just perfect (and delicious).

The big grand finale roll was followed by an incredible honey and sea salt tart from neighboring Beehive Bake Shop.

The cost is $195/person. No two experiences will be the same, but expect 12 courses of nigiri, 3 non-traditional sushi, 9 amuse courses and 1 dessert. For sake lovers, there is a six and eight course tasting which rotates based on the menu. Yanaga General Manager Michael Ego selects and creates menus for all cocktails, wine selections, sake pairings and spirits. He works with Yanaga to curate each sake tasting. Selections will vary and include dry, floral and sweet, with all meant to coincide with an aspect of the dish chef prepares. Exclusive cocktails, available only at Omakase, are $16 each.

Do not wait to make your reservation. With only eight seats at the Chef’s and limited weekly availability (Thursday to Saturday, at 6:00pm and 8:30pm), you do not want to miss out! Each seating lasts around 90 minutes.

Reservations are available now by calling 267-758-6275. They will also be available on Resy starting this week. For more information, visit www.byyanaga.com and follow @izakayabyyanaga and @gluhospitality on social media.

For special events and private party rentals for Omakase by Yanaga and Izakaya by Yanaga, interested parties should contact Michael Ego at mike@gluhospitality.com.

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