By Amy McCarthy
By Scott Reitz
By Scott Reitz
By Lauren Drewes Daniels
By Alice Laussade
By City of Ate
Under beef we plumbed the shaken beef, which, in this era of stumbling "downer" cows, embraces terrifying implications. This was not so good. Not because the medley--onions, broccoli and chilies in a potent garlic sauce--wasn't well-assembled, but because the meticulously carved cubes of beef were dry and tasted old, or maybe frozen.
Outside of pho and Tweety Bird, the most compelling Oishii experience is the Peking duck, an elaborate Chinese dish with a preparation process that begins by pumping air between the duck's skin and flesh and continues with a ritual that calls for the bird to be coated with honey and hung from a hook and dried until the skin is hard. Then it's roasted. At Oishii, it arrives as dark tawny slices, pieces of supple but crispy skin drifting from the sections of juicy, rich meat. The slices are carefully placed on a bed of lettuce and crispy rice noodles along with scallions and are served with Peking doilies, a.k.a. Mandarin pancakes composed of flour, water and sesame oil. The idea is to load the pancakes with lettuce, noodles and duck, slather it with sweet soybean sauce and then roll it up and take a bite in fajita fashion. But the duck tastes just as good without all of that fiddling.
Under "appetizers" comes shrimp in tofu wrap: puffed little pillows with the corners perfectly tapered into points. These fried appetizers have pocks over their creamy tofu sheen. They're searingly hot, too. Inside, the shrimp is ground into a meal with flecks of scallion. But as a composite, the wraps were a little rubbery.
Yet Oishii is still a fascinating culinary adventure, even if Tweety Bird turned out to be a metaphoric dud. The omen part may still amount to something, though.
2525 Wycliff Ave., 214-599-9448. Open 10:30 a.m.-10 p.m. Monday-Saturday; 1 p.m.-10 p.m. Sunday. $$-$$$