Recently Opened Restaurants
by Julie Besonen, 07/01/2015
Photo: Ayla Christman
- more in dining/
119 First Ave., 646-767-9050, East Village, Manhattan
Honey butter chips are heaven at Oiji, a progressive Korean bistro replacing the long-running Dok Suni in the East Village. The fragile homemade potato chips are sturdy enough to absorb a glaze of honey and French cultured butter without collapsing, though their stickiness means they're best plucked with chopsticks instead of fingers. The crispy chips are featured as a side dish, but they work well as dessert (and have inspired a craze in Korea). No one-trick pony, Oiji also excels at soft beef tartare with ramp aioli, delicately pale fried chicken that had been dredged in tapioca flour and lush, slow-cooked oxtail with root vegetables. The sparely designed space is packed every night, a great place for groups to gather and try a little bit of everything, including premium aged soju and experimental cocktails. Brian Kim and Tae Kyung Ku, the Korean-born co-chefs and co-owners, were trained at the Culinary Institute of America. They've cooked at Bouley and Gramercy Tavern, respectively, resulting in an ideal combination of tradition and technique.