A last minute trip to the city for the second daughter model shoot in a month (different daughter this time) meant that we needed to stay in the city near my son's salon, PR@Partners at Metro Center. Since we were going to be there I wanted to find a really outstanding restaurant, but quickly found out that the very best restaurants are often booked well in advance. I wanted more than a meal, I wanted a great food experience with food and ambiance that matched, something I could never find within an hour's drive of Newport News. I wanted something special, something amazing.
After checking with friends, checking Washingtonian's list of favorite restaurants, Zagat, and fellow bloggers, I picked a handful and made calls and sent emails trying to find one that would take pity on me despite the fact that it was the final weekend of Cherry Blossom in DC. An email to Oya, a restaurant my son had been to before and one that came highly recommended and explained my situation and amazingly they said they could accommodate us. I had checked out the menu and Oya's menu included an Asian/French/American fusion that included dishes as diverse as a crispy shrimp roll, braised beef short ribs, and tofu caprese. This seemed like a great match for our family since we have very diverse food tastes. So with our dinner reservation made, we focused on our main reason for this trip- Bridget's editorial photo shoot. While she spent hours getting her hair highlighted, the rest of us checked into the Marriott at Metro Center Hotel and Molly and I checked out Filene's Basement, just about a block away at The Shops at National Press.
Finally, Bridget was finished for the night and she and young Gavin came to the hotel and we got ready to walk over to Oya for dinner. I have to admit I was a little anxious, because my husband is more of a traditionalist, and while he has adventurous taste in food, he is not that into the trendy, two-bite plate restaurant scene. It was really important to me that everyone have a great time and enjoy the evening. The jaunt to the restaurant was a very pleasant walk, and Oya's sleek glass facade was inviting, especially since we were all hungry.
The next course meant that young Gavin's plate of sushi arrived along with my husband's roast chicken, my salmon, Bridget's scallops and Molly's Spicy California and Chef Selection. While the music kept the energy up, our table was quiet as everyone was focused on their food which was incredible.My salmon was perfectly cooked, sauces were the understudy and not the star, and vegetables were crisp-tender. How do I know my husband loved his? Nothing but a bone left on his plate and he didn't even comment on the Lady Gaga music in the background.
Though we were getting full, we were anxiously awaiting our desserts since we had read a lot about Oya's selections. Molly and Bridget both chose the sorbet, which was three small scoops, one each of strawberry, coconut and mango. I had the molten chocolate cake that came with a little scoop of vanilla ice cream. Gavin had the bread pudding (no picture-it was gone before I could capture it on film!) that I had read a lot about and he was blown away-he usually doesn't like bread pudding but this dish was so good that he refused tastes of even my molten chocolate cake because he didn't want to spoil that taste on his palate!
Oya was everything I wanted for my city dining experience. So often a place that looks as impressive as Oya does not measure up when the food arrives, but we were all delighted-Oya was a place where the ambiance was more than matched by the delectable food. The Prix Fixe menu has got to be one of the best deals in Washington, but the full menu offers some really delicious sounding morsels that would bring me back to Oya. While the environs are unique and provide a plush and welcoming venue, it is the food that makes Oya something special.