in case anyone was curious at all, i didn't end up going to any of the places i was previously considering (l'espalier, arrows, etc) due to time constraints. instead, my friends and i headed out to oishii for a massive sushi-fest. and oh, was it ever good.
last time i'd gone, i'd unfortunately ordered the chef's combo -- unfortunate in that it was pretty standard sushi & sashimi fare (if incredibly fresh and well-prepared), and i definitely coveted the specials on the plates next to me. so this time 'round, the 4 of us each chose a few of the items he/she thought most intriguing. our favorites include the caterpillar, the hamachi & sevruga (perhaps the one with lemon sauce? torched in any case), and a few with tempura bits and mayonnaise that i can't really deconstruct in detail but were just damn good going down. while i can't say i was that enthusiastic about the spicy salmon, one of my buddies was certainly a fan. also had a lovely tuna + roe sashimi combo that was 5 slices covered with a pile of the delicate stuff. the wait was considerably shorter this visit (25 min compared to an hour), so bonus.
and no, no customer specials. but next time. definitely next time.
for dessert, red bean ice cream.
stuffed to the gills, we lurched back to the car and tried not to lapse into food comas (in vain).
and then the following night, i had the 10-course + wine tasting at radius...