I love Onigiri. These Japanese style rice balls are always perfect on it’s own for a mid-day snack or in multiples for a tasty meal on the go.
Oori is a shop on Solano avenue in Albany, California that specializes in these yummies. The concept is simple – rice and some type of protein filling, wrapped in piece of seaweed. An order of 3 will get you a side of edamame and ginger. An extra $0.50 will get you a small cup of homemade kimchi, which was pretty bland and not worth the quarters.
I got two sets of trios for dinner. Indulgent? Yes. But I was hungry…
For the first trio, I got their ume (pickled plum), short ribs, and spicy pork onigiri. The pickled plum is just that – very tasty and sour. Loved it. The spicy pork is grilled pork with a spicy sauce and an edamame puree. I would have preferred some kimchi over the puree, as that made it a bit mushy to eat. The short ribs were also grilled and served with scallions, and this tasted very much like a bite from a korean BBQ!
For the second trio, I got the crab, spicy shrimp and tuna.
These were less successful. All three were served with a unique type of aioli and scallions. The shrimp with a spicy aioli, the crab with a lemon aioli, and the tuna with a miso aioli. My issue with these was that the aioli made each onigiri very oily and messy. The flavors of the aioli were great though, and the seafood very fresh. It just would have been better if they used just enough aoili to bind the protein but not too much to overpower each ball.
In any case, a great concept, good flavors, and fun to eat. Looking for a light meal this summer? Go check them out after a stroll down Solano Avenue!