Travelling in less urban Alberta settings usually means you are going to be dining on a relatively short selection of diner sandwiches. In southern Alberta, I've noticed the deep-fried-chicken-dipped-in-teriyaki sandwich a few times. Luckily, unlike the culinary horror show that is Drumheller, Lethbridge has a real Japanese resto that holds it's own, on it's own.
The first few times I went to O-sho were quick lunches with people I didn't really know. I always found myself grinning like an idiot at the white country girls in kimonos serving up a decent but relatively standard sushi fare.
Most recently, I got to check out O-Sho's relatively new Liquid Lounge. It's a decked out big ceiling bamboo/graphic stylish bar. The granite tables in the open area have traditional private booths to one side of them, including a PIMP looking upper story of booths. We sat down on Saturday afternoon looking to nibble away on a bit of nosh after working away. Despite being in the company of some of the finest minds in Canada, the whole load of us were getting distracted by the 3 massive plasma TV's. I guess it goes with the lounge bit - but Price is Right, UFC fighting and CNN?
The country white girls are on this side of the restaurant as well, but they don't have the skills that their costumed counterparts have. I think we got served by three different ones, none of whom had the slightest inkling about what each dish was.
Still, as far as food goes - it was nice to see a couple different items. The sushi menu is probably too big for it's own good - like Kyoto 17. However - the Tempura that was kicking around the table looked great. The udon got passing grade from the toughest noodle critic I know. I tried the Kentucky roll - chicken and plum sauce. It didn't have the crunch necessary. I thought it would be better off prepared with a fresh chicken finger, and with a house plum sauce with some balls. I tried to get the seasoned jellyfish - but they were all out. Two of us had sunomono (vinegar noodle salad) which doesn't appear on nearly enough menus. Not bad, but I prefer my cucumber shredded, so I can have it in each bite. The highlight was probably the wonton wrapped shrimp (bizarrely labeled Samurai Spears). They were dead on for cooking time, and the tempura split on the shrimp meant they were long and impressive looking on the plate. They were served with mayo that had a splash of vinegar. Definitely could have used some wasabi or chili mixed in.
O-Sho's Lounge was pretty fine, and given it's location, awesome. They need that final step with their condiments and sauces, but food wise seem tight. The service will hopefully come around.