November 20, 2013

Oishii Bowl: Collegetown’s Latest Comfort Food Fix Fizzles

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Opening a Japanese restaurant in Collegetown is a bold move being that there are already two popular ones thriving here already: Miyake and Plum Tree. Introducing a small business anywhere in Collegetown is a bold move what with all the empty storefronts — the ghosts of so many small business failures. The word “oishii” in its name means “delicious” in Japanese. So naturally the question is: How “oishii” is the food there?

The restaurant’s Japanese name choice led me to believe that the food there would be strictly Japanese. Instead, its menu was an even mixture between Japanese and Thai dishes. The menu consists of three different iced teas, four Japanese side dishes and eight entrées: four Japanese and four Thai. Apart from the Chicken Mango Salad, the dishes were uniform in that they were all bowls with strips of protein atop a bed of white rice. I liked how the menu kept it simple, focusing on the comfort that comes with food in a bowl — a donburi, in Japanese. I decided to order the katsudon, khao man gai, chicken mango salad, korokke, iced green tea latte and a Coca-Cola (note: a friend accompanied me).

Andy Johnson / Sun Staff Photographer