Metairie >Food & Dining > Oki Nago Japanese Seafood Buffet
2712 N Arnoult Road, Metairie, LA | Directions 7000230.000848 -90.160823
Great Change of Pace for Greater New Orleans – Let's be clear up front. This is not a place to go for "typical" New Orleans food. Also, it's a buffet, so haters pointing out below-average service need to put that in context. The 5-star rating is meant to be a relative rating among New Orleans buffets. Trying to compare to Vegas buffets is a futile effort for any buffet not in Vegas.
Lunch is $10, Dinner is $15 (with somewhat better selection). Parties of 20+ get a 30% discount when I was there (12/2009).
The restaurant serves a combination of Japanese and Chinese cuisine with a touch of Korean (Kim Chee). I found the sushi rolls to be well-prepared and of ample variety. For a $10 lunch buffet, I was able to find eel, avocado, California, vegetarian, crab, and several others that slip my memory. There was a steady supply of rolls, and sushi chefs were quick to resupply trays as they got empty.
The Japanese cuisine expanded beyond nori-wrapped fare. There were tempura, salads, and hibachi offered with udon.
On the Chinese side, dishes appeared to be properly prepared. Broccoli, which tends to be overcooked at many buffets, was excellent here. The stir-fry dishes were neither over-starched nor over-sauced.
Dessert was good. Again, keeping in mind that this is a buffet, the selection was decent. There were three or four cake-like deserts, fresh fruit, desert salads, and ice cream. The best selection is in the ice cream. Most buffets offer soft-serve ice-cream. This is the only buffet I've been to at ANY price point offering "real" ice cream, and there were about a dozen or so flavors to boot. In keeping with the Asian theme, I sprang for the green tea ice cream, a convincingly good concoction that carried just a hint of green tea bitterness balanced well with creaminess and sweetness.
My overall impression was impressive. With this 5 star rating in mind, the creations here are not meant to rival the unique fare at Shogun, Five Happiness, Nine Roses, Sushi Brothers, or the other "nicer" Asian restaurants in NOLA. You will not find Peking Duck served to you and your party in a proper manner here. Still, selection was varied enough to offer something for any discriminating diner: vegetarians/vegans, beef-centric, seafood lovers, Muslims, etc. It may not be so varied that all picky eaters will feel completely satisfied, but all should be able to leave on a full stomach.
Not great – The service isn't that great and the lighting is too dim. I was shocked at how limited your food choices are for a buffet. A lot of the food was so chewy that I was tired of chewing it. Chicken should not be that chewy. The fried items sit there so long, they are cold. The sushi is just eh, nothing to rave about. This was not worth the $17 at all. The hibatchi was the only ok thing, but stay away from their shrimp. The shrimp has an odd taste. This place was a huge let down.
Big aquarium, Bigger bill – I went here once years ago with a friend who claimed it was "so good." I was surprised at how many people were eating there at $15 a pop. Most of them were Americans. Anyhow, I was quite disappointed when I was unable to find anything I enjoyed on the entire buffet. It seemed like everything was smothered with this tangy, sugar-coated Oriental sauce. It tasted terrible. There was a lot of sushi and that wasn't any better. The rice gets all chewy when it sits out. There seemed like there were all these choices but what I notice about Oriental food is that there is very little variations between entrees. So, I was left with the ice cream bar. I went there because I thought I could get ginger ice cream. Nah, they didn't have it and for some reason you couldn't serve yourself the ice cream, you had to go search for an employee every time.
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