Upon entering the dining area of Oya, the first thing you'll notice is its strikingly luxurious interior design. Ornamented with chandeliers, feather covered columns, and a few of those cool fire pits with the glass in the bottom, you can’t help but anticipate an equally opulent meal. Oya delivers.
The menu features an array of carefully engineered sushi, small and large plates, and a prix fixe menu for lunch ($22) and dinner ($36). I was very hungry so I decided against sushi and instead ordered two of Oya's Land Small Plates: BBQ Sticky Ribs and the Beef Short Rib Wellington. The sticky ribs had a delicious caramel sweetness that was like eating those Werther’s Originals my grandmother would give me, except the ribs weren’t old and melted together. Cooked to the perfect tenderness, slathered with a soy-lemongrass glaze, and complimented with citrusy coleslaw, the BBQ Sticky Ribs were an interesting and delightful spin on a southern comfort staple.
The Beef Wellington was as regal as its name. Beef short rib encased in what looked like a tiny Chinese carry-out container made of pastry, sat stately in a foie gras and wild mushroom sauce. Soon it was happily disassembled, devoured, and followed by a look around the room as to make sure no one had seen this flip flop sporting foodie inhale such an ornate treat.
Afterwards, I washed it all down with a Lychee Gimlet that had a pleasingly tart and refreshing crispness. The cocktail was a perfect complement to the beautiful spring weather DC is enjoying this year, I only wish there were a patio so I could drink it outside. Speaking of drinking, the bar was the clear centerpiece of the restaurant. Many young professionals were buzzing around during what is said to be one of the better happy hours in the city.
Oya is located at 777 9th Street NW in Penn Quarter
Come well-dressed or you’ll run the risk of sticking out—not in a good way. A dinner for two can land you in the $80 to $100 range, but the food will be well worth it.