This weekend Tom and I were lucky enough to celebrate our good friend, Katie's, birthday with her. Lucky for us, Katie wanted to go eat at Oishi Sushi and Steakhouse in Chesterfield: think sushi bar meets hibachi grill. This particular eatery is located in the very popular Chesterfield Valley. I like to think of "the Valley" as West County's restaurant hot spot. They have a little bit of everything from upscale dining to Taco Bell. There are literally dozens of restaurants in the area to choose from...dozens. It can sometimes be overwhelming so it was nice to have someone else make the decision on where to go.
And what a good choice Oishi Sushi and Steakhouse was! Now it has been a long time since I had been to this type of restaurant. I think we decided the last time we went to a Japanese steakhouse was for my 19th or 20th birthday...yikes. Having your food cooked in front of you, teppanyaki style, is so much fun that it serves as your entertainment for the evening as well! (Keep that in mind when checking out the prices on the menu...)
I believe we had 7 o'clock reservations but there didn't seem to really be a wait, even on a Saturday night, so that was nice to know for future visits. Don't get me wrong, it looked like a full house, there just wasn't anyone waiting in the lobby area. No patios here but I suppose that could be a tricky set-up, eh? There are actually two main areas to Oishi. The first (to the left when you enter) looks more like your typical restaurant. Simple table set-up in a nice atmosphere perfect for when you are just looking for some terrific sushi rather than the whole she-bang. To the right you see all the grills with chefs cooking away! It's fun to watch different "tables" reacting to all of the different phases of cooking. My favorite was watching the chefs flip pieces of chicken or shrimp for the customers to catch in their mouths...took me two tries to get mine! The chefs all seemed to to be following the same general routine while adding their own special flair. (No, not the TGIFridays kind)
There were lots of options on the menu: chicken, steak, shrimp, lobster, salmon, etc, etc. You could even order up a combo of two or three items if you couldn't settle on just one. (I went with the shrimp and chicken.) Be prepared for an additional charge if you want brown or fried rice. White rice is the standard here. The prices seem a little high at first glance ($18.95-$34.95 per person) but it is important to keep in mind what all you are getting with your dinner. Each dinner comes with soup, salad, a very generous bowl of rice (we all went with fried rice), "shrimp appetizer" (2 shrimp served up whether you ordered shrimp or not...beware if you are allergic to shellfish!), lots of delicious veggies, your choice of meat or seafood, and noodles. Matt and I enjoyed some amazing sushi appetizers (spider roll and spicy tuna roll...delicious!!) before any of this even came and ended up taking large "to-go" boxes home with us. Add on the value of the "show" and it's really a spectacular deal!
Here are some pics of the "show!"
Here's the "onion volcano!" This is a pretty typical trick for this type of restaurant but I still think it's cool every time I see it. :)
Here Juno, our chef, worked on the veggies (hiding behind the water glass), shrimp (center), and two lobster tails (hiding behind the glass on the left). Talk about multitasking!
So how do I rate Oishi overall?
Setting: 4--Chesterfield Valley has a lot to offer and is a great location for us but tends to be a little far for our "city friends" to travel to.
Ambiance: 4--I liked that they didn't have all of the grills on top of each other, just grouped in 2s back to back and I understand why they make you sit with other parties but it would be really cool to have a group large enough to take up an entire grill so you aren't sitting with strangers. The grill set-up also made conversation difficult with other members of your party but with everything going on, I guess there wasn't much time for conversation anyway!
Service: 4.5--Service was terrific! We had a waiter, chef, and another server attending to our table (9 of us at the table). They kept us all happy and well-fed the entire visit.
Food: 5--How can I not give this food a 5?! The sushi was terrific and the entrees were incredible! The leftovers made a phenomenal lunch the next day...doesn't get much better than that.
Drink: 4.5--Small wine list, nice selection of Japanese beers/saki. Plenty of Budweiser products available for the purists. Cocktails (with and without alcohol) were also available. Good prices too!
Overall I'd give Oishi a 4.5. I would highly recommend it for groups of all sizes, for special occasions, or just for a nice meal out with a friend or significant other. Definitely worth it!
So many places I'd love to try next (Iron Barley is definitely on the list Amanda...thanks for the suggestion!) Have I mentioned lately that I love food? :)
Happy Labor Day!