Trevor and I are self described foodies. More specifically we're Japanese foodies, so when I perused through Yahoo Local and found a Japanese establishment within 20 miles of our home it warranted trying to track it down and give it a try. Oishi does not have a website at present otherwise I'd link it up. Oishi is located at 1455 Riverdale Street,West Springfield, MA, 01089
The owner is Korean, which is a welcome change to a landscape that so far has been full of Chinese restaurateurs. I wouldn't say his menu sticks to all the traditions, but it has be best "spirit" of Japanese culture and food. It's hard to describe, but really good Japanese food is made with care and attention to detail. I feel like the owner really cares about his food and really cares about maintaining good relations with his patrons.
There's nothing wrong with Chinese restaurateurs; they just have a tendency to have terrible service. Their staff is rarely attentive or nice. I understand many of them have a language barrier, but after a few years you should be able to pick up a few bits of chit-chat.
In any case, the food at Oishi Sushi was quite good. I think the fish is fresh, everything seems to be made on premises, the non-fish also seemed very fresh, thoughtfully arranged on the plate...overall it was a nice experience. That feeling was what made it feel moreso like Japanese cuisine than any of the other places we've tried. In Japan, even the cheapest street food is prepared with the utmost care and the freshest ingredients. I was a big fan of the gyoza and udon noodles. The unagi was really buttery and good. The sushi was pretty good, but I wasn't totally in love with the rolls which were a bit more heavy on the rice than I like.
I'd still say it's better sushi rolls than: Oyama in Enfield (which totally sucks), Natori Sushi in Manchester, Sushi Ocean in Windsor Locks (also totally sucks), Iron Chef in Longmeadow, Wasabi in Milford, Higashi in Manchester, Ichiban in West Hartford and Ginza in Bloomfield (you'd think that since it won the Hartford Advocate award that it'd be good but it was a let down for me since the fish wasn't fresh).
Can you tell the search for the perfect sushi has taken us everywhere?
But I think we'll continue to go to Oishi. I'd give it 3 1/2 out of 4 stars. I'm particularly fond of their combo plates and hot foods. They have great value for what they're serving. Most of the aforementioned restaurants will do their best to shake out every last penny in your pockets and are not worth giving continued patronage. For around $30 Trevor and I are entirely stuffed with food that actually feels homemade. I'm no Rachel Ray (in fact, if I never hear "yum-o" again it'll be a great day) but that's a fantastic value for Japanese food at dinnertime. Two people can very easily spend $50-$60 when out eating Japanese.
Speaking of which, we'll be going out in a few minutes to have sushi lunch like we do every Saturday. :)