Cajun seafood specialties are worth a try at West Fargo’s Oasis Restaurant and Bar – InForum

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WEST FARGO – Oasis Restaurant and Bar is first and foremost a bar and grill, so it has its limitations. But it offers something unique to the Fargo-Moorhead area: Crawfish, lobster and crab.

They may not have come straight out of the rice paddies of Louisiana, but we’re 1,500 miles from New Orleans and who knows how much the taste of live boiled crawfish in the Deep South comes from the smell of the Spanish moss and the song of the cicadas?

While you can’t beat a crawfish boil in the Deep South, Oasis brings something close to the Frozen Plains. So while you can get yet another “our special take on the California burger” at most bars and grills in Metro Fargo, this one gets you lobster for a decent price and crawfish for an even better price. For that alone, it’s worth the detour.

Oasis Restaurant and Bar, 3147 Bluestem Drive in West Fargo, serves a variety of seafood specialties at a reasonable price.

Eric Daeuber / The Forum

There’s a joke that goes something like this: How many surrealists does it take to change a light bulb? Of them. One to change the light bulb and one to fill the bathtub with brightly colored bicycles. Oasis may have a tub somewhere, but the rest is certainly fine.

It’s brightly lit with neon and LED lights inside and out and, yes, there are brightly colored bikes hanging from the ceiling. The bar is welcoming and the space, thanks to the high ceilings of the bar, gives the impression of being open. The outdoor summer space also looks attractive, although it was closed and cold when I visited.

The dining room, even with a fireplace, looks like another bar area. It’s simply furnished and there isn’t much wall space that isn’t covered with TV screens. The music is pop, but the dining room is comfortable, not too loud and spacious.

Interior Oasis.jpg
Forum food critic Eric Daeuber gives the ambiance of West Fargo’s Oasis Restaurant and Bar 2.5 out of a possible 4 stars.

Eric Daeuber / The Forum

The service is what you would expect – laid back, friendly and prompt. So it feels like a fusion sports bar restaurant, if you can imagine that.

But, again, what matters is the food, and not so much the food itself as the fact that you can even find food in this part of the country, well prepared and presented, and at a price within reason. There’s a lot on the menu. And most seafood dishes will fetch close to $30, which in today’s market is about right.

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For those not interested in seafood, Forum food critic Eric Daeuber recommends trying the Korean barbecue chicken at Oasis Restaurant and Bar in West Fargo.

Eric Daeuber / The Forum

For those not interested in seafood, there are Asian options such as Korean BBQ Chicken ($22). It’s remarkable to avoid Korean barbecue’s tendency to dry out by swapping that potential dry meat for some serious sauce. The sides don’t quite match the level of chicken in terms of flavor and texture, but overall it’s a nice non-seafood option.

What stands out are the Cajun seafood specialties. The menu doesn’t tell you upfront that the $37 crawfish platter is for two, but it is. It’s an education in Cajun cooking with boiled corn, whole potatoes, shrimp, sausage, mussels and, of course, a solid pound of crawfish, although ours seemed more generous than that. It’s not served as a clean boil like it might be in the south, but the au jus Cajun-style sauce that comes on the platter is welcome. It’s a bit of a stretch but, again, the resources of an outdoor boil are not available. There are plastic gloves, but use your fingers. If it bothers your partner on set, you need best friends.

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The lava cake is pictured at the Oasis Restaurant and Bar in West Fargo.

Eric Daeuber / The Forum

A really nice surprise, given the laid back vibe of the sports bar, was the lava cake desert. Transported right out of a $20 cupcake gourmet establishment, it was beautifully presented with ice cream and fresh berries. A real treat.

Oasis is a mix of different sensations and foods and especially enjoyable for those who have considered a good Cajun boil to be out of their reach because of money or distance.

WHAT: Asian fusion restaurant Oasis
WHERE: 3147 Bluestem Drive, West Fargo
CALL: 701-532-2251
KITCHEN: Cajun and then some
HOURS: 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. Monday to Thursday; 11 a.m. to 10:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday; 11 a.m. to 9:30 p.m. Sunday
RESERVATIONS ACCEPTED: yes
ALCOHOL: full bar

FOOD: 2.5 stars
SERVICE: 3 stars
VIBE: 2.5 stars

Eric Daeuber is an instructor at Minnesota State Community and Technical College. Readers can reach him at [email protected]

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