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“Nice first visit” 4 of 5 bubbles
Review of Oya - CLOSED

Oya
Certificate of Excellence
Price range: $30 - $30
Cuisines: American, Sushi, Asian
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Bar scene, Large groups, Special occasions, Romantic
Dining options: Dinner, Lunch, Late Night, Full Bar, Reservations, Seating, Serves Alcohol, Valet Parking, Waitstaff
Dining style: Casual Elegant
Neighborhood: Downtown / Chinatown
Cross street: H & 9th NW
Transit: Gallery Place/Chinatown on the red and yellow line. Get off at the 9th Street Exit and we are one block away.
Arlington, Virginia
Level Contributor
39 reviews
28 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 30 helpful votes
“Nice first visit”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed April 17, 2013

My partner took me to Oya for our anniversary and we enjoyed it very much. Since i had not been there before, entering Oya was a treat.

I would describe the decor as Hollywood Glam meets Industrial. Since the exterior of the building is somewhat dark, modern, and unremarkable, I was pleasantly surprised to find the interior of the restaurant to be large and filled with large swaths of what looks to be Carrara marble, quartz stone, and oversized shell sequins. In fact, the first thing that greets you as you enter the doors is a ceiling-height curtain of industrial chain. Even with these nominally hard and cold appointments, I found the decor to be warm, welcoming, and somewhat formal - perhaps owing to the lighting and to the generally white palette. I like the decor, because the boldness of the natural materials is appropriate for the large space while the palette tones down what could otherwise have been harsh.

Oya boasts a very large dining area, which ... on this Tuesday night ... in China Town ... in DC ... during the Cherry Blossom Festival ... was understandably packed. There were a few tourists, but mostly local professionals, numerous couples, and groups of patrons that trickled in from the bar. I think that the scale of the dining room would preclude anything approaching an intimate, cozy dining experience. The vibe from the patrons and the service staff also feels very dynamic and purposeful. This is not a place for languid dining. This is not a bad thing, as Oya seems to faithfully reflect the neighborhood in which it operates. Youthful. Developing. Definitively NOT the stodgy political feel that is common around K Street or Capitol Hill.

The meal itself was delicious. We both ordered from the 'prix fixe' menu, starting with Tuna Tempura Sushi Roll for me and Calamari Salad for my partner. Sushi is a specialty of the house, and the tuna roll is a good example why. Superb ingredients, very well prepared. The calamari salad was a brilliant alternative to other preparations you might find, with the peperoncini playing the perfect supporting actor role. For the mains, my partner's Roasted Chicken - with the tandoori preparation and large portion of delicious spinach - fully lived up to the server's recommendation. I had the Roasted Tenderloin, which was a little disappointing in the "tender" department but otherwise enjoyable with the wasabi potatoes and grilled aparagus. Between my Banana Bread Pudding and my partner's Bittersweet Molten Chocolate Cake, I won the dessert round, but not by much.

As for the service, I'd say that whoever is running the front of the house might re-consider their approach. On arrival at the front desk, the host seemed a little unfocused and frenetic. It was not a professional or welcoming personal experience. Fortunately, I was distracted by the cool decor. Further, the service staff - while courteous, professional and knowledgable - seems overcommitted. Whether it was an unusually large Tuesday evening crowd or the service plan is just insufficient for the size of the place, there was a lot of dashing around by the servers and bus staff. Servers, while attending to one table, were often looking over their shoulders to check on another table or to ensure that the plates coming out of the kitchen were going to the right table. In our case, we were served someone else's starters before we had ordered our drinks or any starters. It's not a vibe, in my view, that promotes an enjoyable dining experience. The place is huge, so having staff race-walking constantly and tossing plates on tables to get to their next task doesn't seem to be consistent with what Oya wants to offer. Again - to be clear - from my table, it appeared to be behavior that the floor manager was cognizant of and inspired ... or maybe they are understaffed. The servers and bus staff were consistently polite, helpful, professional and knowledgable, so kudos to them for getting the job done reasonably well, considering.

One small detail that made the meal very enjoyable for me is the "Tease" option for drinks and wine. I ordered a tease of a cocktail once we sat down and then a tease for each course. For me, it was the perfect amount of the perfect accompaniment for the meal and didn't require consumption of more alcohol than desired to complement the meal.

  • Visited April 2013
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Atmosphere
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Service
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Food
Helpful?
Thank Nanairen
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

217 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
    91
    67
    32
    14
    13
Rating summary
    Food
    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • Italian first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Salt Lake City, Utah
Level Contributor
22 reviews
13 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
“Perfect meal to end the day”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed April 14, 2013

Loved Oya. Had dinner with some associates and the food was very reasonably priced and really delicious.

Had the asparagus salad and sticky ribs and wished I had the appetite to eat much more! Very comfortable and we never felt rushed or bothered. A definite revisit!

Visited April 2013
Helpful?
Thank MDiddy605
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Washington DC, District of Columbia
Level Contributor
42 reviews
42 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
“Very stylish restaurant offering excellent food”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed April 9, 2013

Oya is the kind of restaurant that is so cool, stylish and elegant, with its ultra-modern designer white and mirror interior, that the ambiance alone makes your dinner a very special and memorable occasion. However, their asian-style cuisine is also good enough to suitably match the quality of the decor. The elegant atmosphere in combination with the fact that I have never had anything but very good food in my several visits to this restaurant is the reason I selected Oya most recently for my my 50th birthday celebration dinner. It is not an inexpensive place, but it easily makes you feel special and offers quality and upscale atmosphere to justify the bill. For the budget-minded, they also have a nice fixed-price offering both for lunch and dinner that is a fairly good deal.

  • Visited January 2013
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Atmosphere
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Service
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Food
Helpful?
Thank opalsson
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Baltimore
Level Contributor
26 reviews
15 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 25 helpful votes
“Beautiful elegance!”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed April 8, 2013

We had a large group and a great experience. The atmosphere is beautiful and the food was delicious. Everything was served fast, fresh and hot. The servers were very attentive. The waiting aread are a welcoming even though we didn't have a wait. We used that space after dinner to hang out and order more drinks. They offered excellent photo ops too.

  • Visited April 2013
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Food
Helpful?
Thank traveltime05
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level Contributor
55 reviews
47 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 15 helpful votes
“Great service and beautiful restaurant, but food could have been better.”
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed April 5, 2013 via mobile

Oya is a gorgeous restaurant. The wait staff is very attentive. We ordered sushi for an appetizer, and that was delicious. I ordered the Chilean sea bass for my entree, expecting high quality fish, but what I got tasted fishy and rubbery. Probably a few days old. The short rib served under it was delicious though. Our waiter offered is one free dessert to make up for the fish. We ordered a banana bread pudding am a chocolate molten cake. They were both great, but each dessert is $10, which is way overpriced for the very small portion of dessert you get. The butternut squash soup and the lemonade(yes, the lemonade. It was great) were probably the best things here.

  • Visited April 2013
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Food
Helpful?
Thank Meelimoo
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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