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Pete Wells Gives Odo’s Under-the-Radar Japanese Kaiseki a Glowing Three Stars

The sushi course stands on its own, the critic writes

Food in duck-shaped plates from Odo
Photo via Odo [Official]

Times critic Pete Wells was delighted with his experience at Odo, the sushi counter and kaiseki restaurant tucked behind the Japanese all-day cafe and bar Hall in Flatiron.

He gives it a glowing three stars in his latest review, highlighting chef Hiroki Odo’s “crisp” truffle-flavored mochi, grilled duck breast, and the shabu shabu, a Japanese style of hot pot. For Odo’s shabu shabu, shaved lamb shoulder, baby harukei turnip, and asparagus stalks come cooking in hot broth. On one of the kaiseki courses, Wells writes:

Each night, in the gohan course, Odo offers a choice of three starchy dishes. This is where I encountered a very fine seafood curry over rice; an elegant bowl of short ramen noodles in king crab broth; and fresh soba served with little pieces of pickled vegetables and wasabi blossoms, looking a bit like broccoli florets but tasting like mustard.

Wells explains there are touches of New York in the meal, too, which starts with a cup of cold sake brewed in Brooklyn from rice that’s grown in New Jersey. The meal then ends with ice cream made from kasu, the sediment left at the end of distillation, which is supplied by the same Brooklyn brewery.

Sushi is included in the set menus and comes from sushi chef Seong Cheol Byun, previously of Sushi Nakazawa. He uses fish primarily caught off the East coast, including Long Island black sea bass, Florida mackerel, and bluefin tuna from North Carolina. “This one course, if tripled in length, could be spun off into a separate establishment that would probably be among the top two dozen sushi restaurants in the city,” Wells writes of Odo’s sushi course.

The set menus change monthly at Odo and are $200 for either an eight-course kaiseki meal with some sushi or a six-course meal with more sushi. French wines and a list of sakes are also available. Three stars.