71 Seventh Avenue
City: Brooklyn, NY
Phone: (718) 783-1888
Site: Visit the restaurant site
2nd Cuisine: Sushi
Area: Park Slope
A cozy little modern spot in Park Slope, perfect for an early dinner and then a night on the town. Many may have heard of and ordered in from Oshima, but have not ventured out to dine-in, which is not an experience to be bypassed. When we called to see if we needed to make a reservation, a staff member politely told us that they were mostly take-out so a reservation on a Friday night was usually not necessary. We went in and, sure enough, while the place was not entirely dead, there was enough room for everyone to be spaced out. We plopped down right at the sushi bar, which can be dangerous, as we were eye-ing down and salivating over the beautiful sushi arrangements being prepared and sent to other tables. We buddied up with the sushi chefs, who were more than happy to tell us about their freshest fish (which was, indeed, very fresh), the different ways they prepare it and answered all of our questions. They even let us sample some pieces before ordering.
We took our time looking through the menu and noticed they had a lot of other dishes to offer aside from plain old sushi and sashimi. A list of specials included foie gras ($15), noodles ($8-13) teriyaki ($14-18), garlic duck ($18) and tempura ($12-16). All their food was elegantly prepared: artsy and attractive yet humble. The prices were reasonable. Nothing was "cheap" but you absolutely get what you pay for. The rolls were hardly on the skimpy side: with healthy pieces of fresh fish, avocado and veggies. If you are going to get sushi, try some of their specialty rolls such as the samurai roll ($12) made up of salmon and avocado topped with tuna eel and shrimp without seaweed or their Godzilla Roll ($12), with spicy tuna, crunch topped with avocado and tobiko. There was a decent selection of drinks including sake, Asian beers and wine. Their vast menu has something for vegetarians and meat lovers alike.
The wait staff was extremely attentive and consistently asked us how we were doing, if we were enjoying our meals and even made us some fun origami out of our chopstick wrappers.
When I walked to the back to use the bathroom, which was absolutely spotless, I peered into their backyard: an open and spacious area with a running waterfall, koi pond and lush garden -- a lovely little zen environment. We were pleased in that this place was exactly what we wanted for a Friday night: romantic yet casual and in a very convenient location to investigate the bar scene on Vanderbilt afterwards. Not too tacky and over the top, but far from an eyesore as well. Oshima is an absolute must for all sushi lovers who find themselves in Brooklyn.
Review By: Valerie Pettersen