As my post title suggests, the sushi at Oishii is both 'Precious' i.e. EXTREMELY expensive, and just cause for the obsessive/protective glee of Golum in the Lord of the Rings works.
The 2 of us went to the Washington St., Boston Oishii tonight 8PM; the same day that this Oishii received Alison Arnett's rarely-awarded 3 1/2 stars in the Globe review.
It was not crazy packed, but steadily busy, particularly after 9.We were starving; we hadn't had lunch.We sat at the sushi bar and it quickly became obvious to me that NONE of the 5 or 6 very young sushi chefs were Japanese except the head(and older) guy. When i asked for Yama Kake all looked baffled . Getting wind of my request, Chef Ting came over, and said he could make it for me if I liked, but that it was a bit too'normal japanese menu' for Oishii. He served me a beautiful little nouvelle version of it but i needed to ask for more yam (which contributes equally to the maguro in this dish's exquisite experience) and then transfer it into a larger bowl so it could be mixed properly. It was wonderful. and it was $20. it was NOT twice as good as other $10 yamakakes I have had in Boston.
The same was true of my other nigiri and maki- each item was twice the cost of the same item in other sushi restnts(and nigiri prices are by the PIECE, not by the pair.)california maki $11- was the same as any other cal. maki i've had.
However, the quality of the hamachi and unagi and salmon- were all extra special silky lovely. i have never had unagi like this before and i wonder if maybe they prepare it themselves (All other Amer.sushi restnts that I have visited sell unagi that has been sauced and grilled and frozen, which has not kept me from adoring it in the least, but Oichii's unagi had a lightness like none I have had).
I found out that they DO make their own tofu, and its soft light silkiness in the Age Dashi Tofu- made for a very special experience indeed.
The Saku and Tuna with Su-Miso in Kataifi nest- was just super. cubed white tuna (saku), maguro, and yama, all tossed in a bright citrus sauce, in a kataifi nest (the nest was pretty but difficult to eat and not really worth eating .)$18
The Yam Tempura filled Maki was coated with hay-like sweet potato and deep fried. fun and delic. but would benefit from another ingredient i think.
Seaweed Salad , $8, was the same japanese import that you would find anywhere for $1.
The Grilled Black Cod w/ Sweet Miso sauce app.was an absolute knockout in rich clean luscious flavor.$18 Same for the much more common Hamachi Kama- $16.
All kinds of interesting unusual Maki average in the $18 range.Entrees average about $28. Their desserts did not tempt me.
They do not make their ice creams, but they do make their sorbets(mango- yawn).
Four different sakes by the 'carafe'from $7.50- $15; fun to sample but I actually preferred the robust flavor of the least expensive one.
Service was very attentive at first and then she disappeared for the last 1/2 of our meal. The room design/decor did not draw my attention. Though the place was full, it was not loud.
So, I think my lesson- for me- was that Oishii is a place to go for the inventive dishes, not the regular sushi items.When we return , we will NOT be starving, and we will order exclusively from the very extensive menu of unusual offerings.While I'm sure it won't be LESS expensive a meal, at least we won't feel that we were paying twice the price of the same dishes at other excellent sushi restnts. With 2 carafes of sake and the dishes I've mentioned, we walked out, BEFORE tip, minus $200.wow, for our wallets it was a Japanese Jean Louis Palladin.