When my husband and I traded our rental in the Highlands for home ownership in the ‘217 we knew what we were giving up – among other pleasures, the ability to walk to a sushi dinner. So I was giddy when the sign went up late last fall on Preston Highway announcing a sushi restaurant opening soon. Sushi on Preston! The dreary no-man’s land of day-labor, fast food and dry cleaners south of Eastern Parkway would finally offer more than a quick route to the airport.
Don’t let the exterior or gritty-looking stretch of the block deter you. We may not be on Bardstown Road here, but the sushi is exceptional and the spare interior cheerful. Karaoke rooms are also up for rent if that’s your thing. We’ve become regulars since Oasis opened — Song Kim, who you may have seen at his other restaurant, Bendoya downtown, slices an avocado and grabs the Riesling when we enter. We take any opportunity to grab dinner at the sushi bar, and our payroll stimulus last week was just enough (almost) for a happy hour dinner.
Oh, didn’t I mention that? Monday through Friday from 5:30 to 6:30 entrees, drinks, and some sushi are half price. (!) Don’t try to figure out which sushi is half off. Song calculates it based on an ever-changing formula known only to him. Just order what sounds good and go with it. Drinks are half price all day on Mondays.
I always have the Salmon Flower — a specialty not on the menu, but you can and should request it — a generous slab of salmon sashimi wrapped around a treasure-filled center: a sliver of avocado, a bit of ginger and a few salmon roe. A creamy honey-mustard wasabi sauce crowns this deliriously good sushi — a firm final five contender for my last meal. My other favorite is the Mango Crunch roll — a refreshing combination of mango, avocado, salmon, “crunch,” eel sauce and that addictive creamy wasabi sauce.
For those not as obsessed with raw salmon as I am, Oasis offers the usual suspects, and I’ve yet to try a roll I haven’t liked. (Though for the record haven’t sampled the Preston Roll – fried fish, asparagus and spicy crab.) My husband Brian, burned out on sushi from the days we lived too near Sapporo, always orders from the short entrée menu, starting with the classis salad of crisp iceberg drowned in that liquid crack they call ginger dressing.
On this last visit, Brian’s salad and salmon teriyaki plate, my salmon flower, mango crunch roll and tuna hand roll, and the three glasses of Riesling between the two of us rang in at $32 with tax. We’re definitely not in the Highlands anymore!
Oasis Japanese Restaurant and Sushi Bar
3311 Preston Hwy
Wave3’s Just Pay ½ program still has a few $50 Oasis gift certificates for $25 at http://wave.incentrev.com/index.cfm?action=offer&offerid=7598 (not valid during happy hour)