Saturday 12 May 2007

Wood Obsession Nearly Goes Too Far at Oishi

Oishi Ultimate Japanese Cuisine
11025 International Drive
Suite A
Orlando, FL USA 32821

Where is it?

From the front entrance, head all the way to the back of the restaurant, staying just right of the bar/teppanyaki grill set up in the rear of the restaurant. Go through the hallway in the very back and you'll find the restrooms.

What's it like?

Very woody. The decor here contains countless variations of natural wood -- from glossed over tree trunks that serve as tables to natural looking wooden chairs to wall decor made of bamboo and bark... You get the idea. The wood here is made to look natural, not manufacturer. It's kind of neat as a conversation piece, and kind of cool-looking at first.

But it also makes eating here a little tricky because the natural wood gives odd shapes to the tables, and that means that one side of the table will often be wide or thick and the other narrow, thin and unusuable -- and that means one side of the table can eat in comfort while the other must eat with the constant fear that he or she might drop someting onto the floor by accident. Most of the food served here is delicate in nature already, so asking the diner to take extra care in eating it seems a bit too much of an imposition. My companion had soup here, and because he was seated at the narrow part of the tree trunk table he almost spilled it on himself several times before finally giving up and getting it to go. I, on the other hand, sat at the fat part of the trunk and had little to no troubles.

Given this, I was very fearful of what the toilets might look like. Would the toilet seat be wide on one end and thin on the other? Would the sink have unusuable faucets?

Thankfully, no! The toilet and sink were standard white porcelain, and the room itself was laid out nicely in dark brown tiles and dark wood trim. But the decor was still decidedly wooden, whether it was the authentic Japanese carvings or the odd-looking found-wood sculptures there. Either way, it made the restaurant's wood theme feel a little thick -- and that feeling continued when I returned to my table, where I started to get a little sick of the wood. Can we have a little practicality here, please?

Marks out of 10:

7. Imagination is there but the wood idea's a little too overpowering.

Comments to the Management:

Perhaps a little more understatement might help.

No comments: