As I entered the restaurant I nearly forgot to assemble my "I'm somebody" face but the 3,000 lb. chain link curtain was the perfect reminder that I wasn't in Kansas anymore. My unfashionably punctual buddys were seated and kind enough to have left my name and likeness with the maitre d'(helped me get in character). Moving through joint I was struck by the absence of kitchen aroma I have come to expect and love when gathering my appetite for a new menu. No worries, I spotted my party and shot through the table maze intrigued by the large test tube, beaker-like centerpieces (oh wait...thats water *remember Zengo). After hello's I had a chance to trace my steps across what I now considered to be more of an upscale cafeteria than a fine dining room. The "hall" was abuzz with happy people which would normally impact me in a Jedi mind-trick sort of way but not tonight! I'm judging on my individual experience and thats that!
A waiter dressed in all black delivered an all white menu and in no time the Prix Fixe was the choice for me. $35 & change for ap. - entree & sweets.....whats not to like? I had the spicy crunchy shrimp (crunchy,not spicy) and tossed in a crispy tuna roll ($9) since places like this usually leave me a little hungry in the end. The rolls were...well....rolls - like any other I'd had. The wasabi was perfectly fresh and packed a pleasant punch that I have longed for in recent shushi outings. The un-died ginger was nice to see as I'm trying to cut back on Red #5. I popped a roll in my mouth and wondered what my friends across from me were saying since the tile walls and drywall ceiling create a very noisy atmosphere. An occasional nod and smile reassures them I'm fine chatting with my neighbors once and twice removed (note to self: brush up on lip reading).
My entree was the scallops with hen-of-woods mushroom, truffle and bit of pasta all of which I enjoyed. Other table selections included the Atlantic Salmon (good), Pork ribs (..eh'),Tofu Tempura (bland), Boc Choy (boc choy) and several departures of Tuna all of which seemed to be of little interest to the guys. Of particular note was the Chilean Sea Bass wich by the grace of God was ordered by a pint size chap who could'nt finish it and relinquised the overage to mua! Put simply, it was awesome. Light, soft, delicate buttery flavor whose scraps I was thrilled scavenge.
All things said, Darth Waiter and company did a fine job not withstanding the usual staff blunders - a spilled water, a brief round of musical entree's and a cappuccino no show; all forgivable offenses from such a well rounded guy like myself (no waiste line puns please). The highlight of the evening was the Bannana Bread pudding and the Persian girl in low cut Prada at 3 o'clock. I have to think my forgetting to remove my beat up Nextel from my Old Navy belt was an indicator that the jet black Bently Continental GT out front was'nt mine hence explaining her not making my acquaintance.
The long and short of it is that OYA fell a little flat in my opinion. The waiter said they have been through a few chef's and I'll add that they may want to continue the search. I would return, yet not race back as there are many other favorites and potential contenders on my list.
.....I hear Arby's is coming to Tenley.