Monday, April 8

Restaurant Review: Oyama Sushi

1853 Lower Muscatine Rd. Iowa City, IA 52240

I've been wanting to do a review on Oyama Sushi in Iowa City, Iowa, for a long time. Really, since I realized I wanted to go back at least once a week for the rest of my life.

In case you don't know in real life (hello internet loves!), you should know that I love sushi. My parents introduced me to sushi when I was in elementary school. I was that weird kid who brought HyVee sushi to lunch with me when we had to bring a sack lunch. I was the one who introduced pretty much all my friends to sushi and got them addicted.

This basically means that I've had a ton of sushi. At this point, I know what a good price is, I know what good sushi is, and I know how to spot a hell of a deal.

Oyama, my friends, is a hell of a deal.

We'll start with the restaurant itself. It's decorated like pretty much any other Japanese/Sushi restaurant. It's usually pretty quiet, but where it truely stands out is the choice of background music.

I've been there probably close to 20 times, maybe more. Half the time I'm there, it's the "typical" background music of Japanese women singing with instrumentals behind them. The other half of the time, it's 1990's Top 40 music.

This means while you eat sushi, you might hear Celine Dion, Beyonce (I'm pretty sure J and I heard "Bootylicious one time), or any manner of awesome music from your childhood.

When I look at a sushi menu, the first thing I look for is the "basic" rolls to see how much they are. I'm not rich. I don't have money to just throw around on $6 Salmon Maki. I know that if the basic rolls are expensive, the fancier rolls are going to be way out of my price range. I like to see the more basic rolls be between $3 and $5. If a salmon roll is above $5, you're going to have to work to keep me at that sushi restaurant.

Oyama has a great selection of basic rolls, as well as some amazing signature rolls. The big difference? They use chunks of good quality, tender fish instead of using mashed up fish to save money. If you get a salmon roll, you're going to get a beautiful, delicious chunk of real, fresh salmon.

My favorite basic rolls are:
  • Salmon roll
  • Seaweed Crunch roll (they use seaweed salad in the roll itself with crunchies; it's delightful!)
  • Salmon Avocado roll
  • Yellowtail Scallion roll
  • Tokyo Roll (crab meat with crunchies and some kind of mayo)
  • Shrimp Tempura roll
  • Spider roll
  • Ikura sushi
Waiting patiently for our food to get there!
Salmon Avocado roll, Tokyo roll and Ikura!
This Tokyo roll is looking FINE.
J's sushi: Blackened Tuna roll, Fiesta roll, and (what's left of the) Yellowtail Scallion roll!
Overview: Oyama Sushi in Iowa City is (for sushi) cheap, great quality, quick, and usually really great service. I've checked the prices of other sushi places all over Iowa City, and these prices were by far the best. If you live in the area, check it out! If you're visiting, check it out too! I'll even take you. :)

What are your favorite sushi rolls? Do you have a favorite place? 
What other sushi restaurants in Iowa City should I check out?

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