While there's been a great influx of businesses and restaurants cropping up in the South Loop the last couple of years, Oysy has remained one of the few authentic Japanese bistros around. The restaurant is ultra-modern inside and out (with iron/bamboo tables you won't find at Ikea), giving it a seemingly expensive vibe that seems out of place on this sparse stretch of South Michigan Avenue. However, it's a welcome addition to the neighborhood: affordable enough for students (with entrees ranging from $5 to $10) but nice enough for a business meeting or a date.
As the name Oysy (pronounced "Oh-ee-she") means "delicious," the chefs always strive to keep things fresh, offering an ever-changing menu (on a monthly basis). But while there are always additions to the menu, some things thankfully stay the same, including the wide array of specialty rolls like the Fire Cracker (deep fried jalapeno, shrimp, eel, avocado and cream cheese). Oysy also boasts a pretty mean drink menu, too, with two-toned tropical martinis looking more like works of art than beverages. Not a huge sushi fan? There are plenty of outstanding cooked options, like the ginger scallops, that'll give you no reason to avoid this Japanese dream in the South Loop.
Average cost: $21-$30
Centerstage Reviewer: Jamie Murnane