“I can top anybody’s sushi roll in this area.” That’s the brash claim of Young Kim, who opened Oiso Sushi & Korean last week in Cary’s Maynard Crossing shopping center.
His selection of some 30 specialty rolls, a list peppered with rolls you won’t find elsewhere, provides further evidence. Hamachi Mania, for one, serves up yellowtail three ways — spicy, seared and deep-fried — in an East-West fusion of avocado, cucumber, scallion, pepper, tobiko, ponzu and Peruvian aji amarillo sauce. Then there’s the Chef Kim’s roll: tuna, salmon, white tuna, lobster salad, and masago in a daikon wrap, topped with special ponzu and truffle with seaweed salad.
Sushi clearly gets top billing here (even the appetizer list is dominated by sushi bar creathions), but the kitchen turns out a modest selection of Japanese and Korean dishes. Prepared by fellow Korean native chef Myong Kim (who worked with Young Kim at Oishii), the offering covers the territory from Korean barbecue and dolsot bibimbap to teriyaki and tonkatsu in the space of a handful of listings. Kimchi udon, one of three variations on the noodle theme, neatly bridges the gap between the two cuisines.
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Located in a compact strip mall space that has been home to an eclectic string of restaurants over the years (among them Dosa Inn, Guacamole Grill and, most recently, KoMo KoMo), Oiso Sushi & Korean (1305 NW Maynard Road, Cary; 919-655-5133; oisosushi.com, website scheduled to go live soon) is a modestly furnished restaurant with just a handful of tables. Young Kim would like you to know that you shouldn’t judge this book by its cover. The restaurant is open for lunch and dinner every day but Sunday.
Greg Cox, the longtime N&O restaurant critic, also covers restaurant news. Reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org.