Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Delicious Oishii

For lunch on Sunday, we went to Oishii (おいしい - 'delicious' in Japanese). The name is fitting. Oishii is rated the second best restaurant in Boston according to the Zagat 2008-2009 Boston Guide.  So we were anxious to see if it lived up to it's high ranking. There is no signage above the door (a new trend in the south end it seems?) and the only thing that reminds you that there is a restaurant inside are some umbrellas and tables outdoors (who knows what happens in the winter!). When we walked up to the stark-white building on busy Washington Street in the South End, I didn't quite know what to expect. I was nicely surprised, however. The inside of the restaurant is the yin to the façade's yang. Maybe this wasn't on purpose; but, that was my experience, and it was pretty cool. The inside is dark and tranquil with a water feature running down one of the walls. On the main floor, where we ate, there are two large modern dining rooms, painted in dark colors, that help to give a hip and trendy vibe to the place.

A hostess took us to our table, which was along a wall across from the sushi counter. The cool thing about Oishii is you can see all of the ingredients that the chefs use. They are displayed in long glass cases in front of you. Long pipes covered in frost keep the fresh fish cooled. We were able to watch the sushi chefs from our table during the whole course of our meal without it being too distracting..

We took advantage of Oishii's Restaurant Week menu (it was the only lunch menu they provided that day anyway), and it was a bargain from what I hear about the normal prices. We both got the Sweet Potato Tempura and Pork Gyōza as our first course. Light and delicate, Peter thought they were some of the best dumplings he's ever had. The gyōza were fantastic. The Sweet Potato Tempura was good--a bit greasy, but I think that's the nature of the beast with anything fried. The two dipping sauces they provided (one for the dumplings and one for the main course) were both delicious.

For our main courses, P got the Chicken Teriyaki (which he liked just fine), and I got a nice sushi combination, which included a spicy tuna maki, a salmon nigiri, and Oishii's delicious "Route 66" roll, which consisted of salmon tempura, crab stick (kani), avocado, cream cheese, and cucumber. It. Was. Amazing! The main course alone was worth the $20.08 price for the entire meal. 

For dessert, we both had the red bean ice cream, which was also fantastic. P even said that it might have been his favorite part. 
The service at Oishii was very good as well. We didn't have to wait too long for the food, they refilled our waters numerous times, and we had three servers who attended to our needs. Would we consider Oishii to be the second best restaurant in Boston? It's hard to judge. For sushi, service, and décor it was excellent but there is a part of me that is hesitant to compare it to a restaurant like No. 9 Park. Perhaps it's because Oishii didn't feel stuck up or stuffy as some prestigious restaurants can? Either way, Oishii IS a great place to get great sushi. Second best restaurant in Boston? You be the judge.

Oishii Boston on Urbanspoon

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