Football watching usually involves buffalo wings, onion rings and all things deep-fried, but it wouldn't be sacrilegious to sometimes switch to something a little more refined and creative.....like sushi! It can get quite boisterous at Oshima on Sundays during an NFL season. The place is big enough to accommodate up to two hundred guests. The sushi menu is two pages long. And a clique has obviously been long formed, as many jersey-clad regulars (who don't seem to come together) greet one another with hugs and firm handshakes. Chopsticks in hands, football fans huddle together in the bar section, furnished with lofty stools and swanky half-circle booths. For sushi lovers who prefer more privacy, there is a separate area for them, though it's doubtful they would be able to completely escape from the hubbub.
My first experience there last Sunday was worth the time and trip. The spicy-garlic edamame seemed to be one of the most ordered items. Apparently, its in-your-face pungency proved to be a plus point rather than a deterrent. The Bloody Mary was whimsically spiced with Sriracha. The deep-fried calamari, seasoned and coated with a light tempura batter, was quite a treat even without its accompanying sauce. The three sushi rolls I tried all tasted similar, but each also had its own twist. The Crispy Kirk--an unorthodox invention stuffed with three types of fish and laden with cream cheese--might make an old-school sushi master from Tokyo shudder and scream, "Blasphemy!" Luckily, I'm not an old-school sushi master, so it didn't traumatize me. In fact, I quite enjoyed the richness of it. The Oshima roll had spicy tuna and soft-shell crab as its star components. And as history has proven time and again, any sushi with soft-shell crab in it guarantees a delightful texture and a fun masticating experience. The Ninja, although underwhelming with bland albacore and hamachi, made up for its shortcomings with a robust sauce and fat slices of jalapeno.
At the end, my beloved team, the New York Giants, allowed the lame Saints to score in the last five seconds and win with a field goal. My second favorite, the Niners, also lost. My third favorite, the Lions, lost more badly and more embarrassingly than the others. And the Oshima football clique didn't even invite me to be their newest member. But I just shrugged and left without feeling too defeated. I had a good time; it was all right.