2007 BEST Sushi
As sushi has gone mainstream, it’s become increasingly run-of-the-mill: rolls, rolls, and more rolls, with too much rice and tasteless (and, frequently, cooked) fish. O Ya doesn’t even offer rolls, just sparklingly fresh sashimi and nigiri—including heretofore unseen specialties like big-eye red snapper, conch, and Santa Barbara spot prawn. With a surgeon’s precision, chef-owner Tim Cushman and his line of sushi sous pair each fish with thoughtfully chosen exotic adornments like Thai basil and torched banana pepper mousse, and one of dozens of house-made sauces. The results—like the bluefin tataki with smoky pickled onions and truffle oil—are transporting.