A meal is such a personal thing. We all have our comfort zones, from the restaurants we frequent to our tried-and-true dishes. It takes a leap of faith and a bit of an adventurous streak to dine omakase. The word roughly translates to “I will leave it to you” in Japanese, and indeed, you put your dining experience in the hands of the chef, who sets the menu and the order in which the dishes come out. As a diner, your only job is to sit back and trust that a culinary plan is at work; this is a symphony for your taste buds, with each individual course playing a role in the larger score.
Tao Asian Bistro recently debuted itsOmakase Tasting Experience, which takes place once a month with seatings at 6 or 9 p.m., each limited to eight people. Presiding over the multicourse meal are chefs Jun Hiroshima, Tsuyoshi Nishida and Tomoko Buaban, who present an assortment of appetizers, sashimi and seasonal nigiri. The pace is of paramount importance: This meal is meant to be savored, but it’s also meant to satisfy. It’s a delicate dance that the chefs masterfully lead over two hours, progressing from lighter dishes to heavier fare, with palate cleansers in between, and finishing with some sweetness.
Each experience is different, since seasonality sits at the heart of omakase. On a recent tasting, courses included Shigoku oyster with caviar, kampachi with fresh wasabi, grilled king crab with A5 Wagyu beef and some of the finest cuts of fish this side of the Pacific.
Omakase Tasting Experience Next seating November 3, 6 & 9 p.m., $150 (reservations at secretburger.com). Tao Asian Bistro, 702-388-8338.