Who eats: Businesspeople, tourists and River North office workers.
Why eat: Fresh, reasonably priced sushi is served extremely quickly, a combination that draws large lunch crowds on weekdays.
Ambience: With smooth concrete floors, low lighting and aqua-colored panels hanging from the walls and ceiling, Oysy exudes a minimalist, modern Asian look. A sushi bar runs the length of the restaurant, while a liquor bar runs much of the width. Resplendent in grays, greens and polished wood trim, Oysy doesn't exude warmth but hardly feels cold either. The overall feel is fresh.
Dress code: You'll see businesspeople in suits and ties, but the vibe is casual.
Noise factor: The concrete floors and lack of partitions can create a bit of a din at the height of the lunch crush, but it is not difficult to hear your companions.
Overheard: "Oh my God, this is not going to work. This is not going to end well."
Service: The food arrives amazingly quickly. The folks at Oysy seem to know their crowd might be in a hurry. The servers are fast without being pushy and have good timing when bringing out food.
Cellphone reception/Wi-Fi: Full cell reception. No Wi-Fi.
Menu: Sushi, tempura and other Japanese favorites.
Reliable options: The $12 lunch special is a tremendous deal, a veritable feast in a bento box. Pick from seven options for the main course, including fish, grilled steak, chicken or vegetarian. You also get three pieces of California maki, three pieces of spicy tuna maki, shrimp and vegetable tempura, a tofu pancake, a small Japanese salad, and miso soup. The portions are generous. Grilled salmon with sesame sauce is a winner, as is the big and tasty grilled steak in garlic-miso marinade, though the meat can be a tad overcooked. The three-appetizer platter ($5) is also a deal, arriving in three shareable bowls filled with seaweed salad, salmon with avocado and shredded crab with cucumber. Delicious. If you just want sushi rolls, try the summer roll ($9), with masago (roe), tuna, yellowtail and cilantro to give it a kick, or the fashion roll ($9), with tuna, shrimp and masago.
Expect to pay: $30-$40 for two.
Contacts: 312-670-6750, oysysushi.com