Oishi Brookline and Dim Sum
Just looking to solicit some opinions on my recent oishi experience. Went one recent cold night hoping the weather would keep people home. I was wrong and we waited the 40 minutes to get a few seats at the bar. Nothing unusual here, but as we are soon to be seated we are handed some menus to mark up and hand in with our order so the food is ready when we sit down. This seems wrong to me as part of the sushi bar experience is to interact with the chefs and find out what is really good and fresh. Also, while I appreciate the small size of the place, I want to eat an $80 per person meal at a liesurely pace, not like getting in and out of dim sum in 20 minutes.
We waited till we were seated to order and got a mixture of sushi, special sushi (the fluke carpachio is killer) and a fully cooked teriyaki dish. They subsequently brought the cooked dish first, fluke special (which is more like an entree to me) second and the sushi last. In my mind, and in every sushi place I have gone to, the dishes would be brought in the exact opposite order. I think it enhances the meal with sushi first, fluke second and heavy hot entree last. It was clearly as fast as they could make it, and not the right order for the palate.
Ultimatey the food was all really good, and I would go back. I would probably ask that the entree is last and sushi first , but ultimately feel that I should not have to do this. There is no doubt they were trying to rush people out, but this seemed excessive for a fairly expensive meal. It's not dim sum you know.
Thoughts? Am I being overly demanding. Don't get me wrong, I don't want to sit for 2 hours, but 45 minutes to an hour seems reasonable for a $150 dinner for 2 including tips. I should mention that we were there for about 50 minutes once seated and they did not rush us out. Another couple that was seated at the same time was out in 30 minutes.
Oishii Sushi Bar
612 Hammond St, Chestnut Hill, MA 02467
Although I guess it doesn't necessarily apply in this particular case (sushi restaurant with multiple types of dishes), it's not unusual in Japanese dining for dishes that are heavier in rice to come towards the end of the progression. For example, rice dishes are one of the later dishes in kaiseki menus, and when you go to an izakaya, ochazuke (rice in tea) is usually the last thing you'll have. So, they could conceivably be following a different sensibility, and they might accomodate a different order if you wanted. (This is assuming that it's not just a matter of convenience of timing!) I should add that I don't have any experience specifically at Oishii, though...
I've eaten there more than a hundred times and can confirm that the chefs there don't want to look at you and don't want to talk to you because their english conversational skills are very limited. The only chef that may be interesting to talk to is the owner when he's there but I've never spoken to him. I don't feel they have never rushed me or anyone ever, but you do feel rush anyhow because there's always people piling up at the door or lining up uncomfortably behind you or constantly picking up togos. It was 20 degree outside tonight but the place was busy and packed with people waiting inside and outside the door. Interestingly, the waitress told me they do better business in the winter than in the summer.
Next time, order your sushi first and wait for it to come out. Order the fluke half way through your sushi. Then order the hot entree half way through your fluke.