I have moved away from Orlando in Fall of 2008 (for a job) and just found out that Oyaji did not survive the poor economy. It has turned into a liquor store (how fitting, so we can drink our sorrows away!) It's sad, since this was my favorite restaurnt in Orlando. Here's my original review below:
Oyaji is a must-visit for any sushi lover visiting or living here in Orlando. This family-owned and operated establishment is tucked out of the way off of International Drive, just a few minutes from the Kirkman and I-Drive intersection, on Municipal Dr next to the Cheers bar. From what I can tell, it's one of the few local japanese hang out spots. It's not rare that I am the only non-asian customer in the place. It's a smaller restaurant with only one sushi chef and one kitchen chef, so on busier nights (weekends) you may have to wait a bit for your main meal, especially if your dinner party is 6 or more. If you do go with a larger group, I suggest going to Oyaji on a non-weekend night, unless you don't mind waiting. Good things come to those who wait and believe me, it is worth it. You can enjoy many of their delicious appetizers while your main meal is being prepared. Their Miso and Clear soups are perfect and their Ginger salad always tastes very fresh. I've had many items on their extensive menu and I've never been dissappointed. I usually end up ordering sushi rolls though. My personal favorites are: Kamikazi roll (mix of chopped tuna, whitefish, and salmon with a special white sauce), Fire roll (spicy tuna with an extra chili kick), and the Shrimp Tempura roll (the best version in town). Also, I suggest calling ahead of time before travelling to the restaurant, they sometimes randomly close during the week to take care of other family business.
Pros: Delicious and authentic menu, great value, cosy ambiance
Cons: Sometimes a long wait for food if it's a busy night
I've lived in Orlando since 1988, visited all of the best and hippest Japanese places from Altamonte to Kissimmee, and this is the place I always go back to. I am very particular about where I eat! It's a small place, next to the Cheers bar off of North International Drive, and easily missed, but you know it's good when many of the people who go there are Japanese. They recently repainted, so the place looks fresh. They are open late on Friday and Saturday nights, until 1 AM. I love their appetizers, especially the Agedashi Tofu and the Grilled Mackerel. My husband loves the Teriyaki Hamburg dinner (they make an excellent potato salad side for it)! The authentic, savory Ramen Noodle Soup is filling. There's a place across the street from us, but we make the 30-min. trip to Oyaji.
Pros: Authentic, Quality Food, Late Weekends
Cons: Out-Of-The-Way, Small, Demure
This is my fave place because of (2) factors:
1. It opens really late, 'til 2am
2. The food is very good
I love the food there. The udon, the steak, the seafood salad, and the katsu don are my three favorite b/c they're so delish. You gotta try them. Besides, the sushi is good also, especially the sashimi. The seafood they use is so fresh. The place is clean and very friendly service. However, it is every small; therefore it is not suitable for large party (15 or more) and it is definately not romantic :)