When Oma’s Takeaway emerged as a takeout tent exterior pseudo-Indonesian spot Gado Gado, it felt like a tiny, contained social gathering: A disco ball turned over packed orders of Flamin’ Sizzling chicharrones and popcorn shrimp in candy chili mayo, the place music would blare and vegetation sat perched on tables within the car parking zone. For individuals who know Mariah and Thomas Pisha-Duffly, the homeowners of Gado Gado, it felt very true to them: At a 2019 Feast after-party, the 2 arrange fireplace pits within the entrance car parking zone and served meats roasted on a spit — it felt like one thing between the very best yard barbecue and a hip pop-up, with a psychedelic, effortlessly cool vitality.
So moving into Oma’s Hideaway, the most recent iteration of the couple’s second restaurant, feels very true to that very same spirit: The restaurant sports activities two separate bars tiled with rhinestones, iridescent cabinets, shiny gold embossed desk coverings. Black-light posters, collected by Mariah, grasp on the partitions, alongside ‘70s-style lighting fixtures. Rainbow lights are screwed into the restaurant’s chandeliers.
“If there was any timidity with Gado Gado, Oma’s is taking it up even additional a couple of notches, into this very playful, enjoyable, vibrant place,” Mariah Pisha-Duffly says. “I can assure that nobody has walked right into a restaurant that appears like Oma’s appears. Even my household that’s actually on the market stated, ‘Woah, that is loopy.’”
Again in April 2020, when Gado Gado was closed on account of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Pisha-Dufflys launched an “Asian stoner meals” pop-up known as Oma’s Takeaway. The pop-up turned a success, and when Gado Gado reopened for out of doors eating later that summer season, the couple determined to maneuver Oma’s Takeaway into the previous Whiskey Soda Lounge house. However Oma’s had modified considerably, turning into one thing extra like a new Americana: Tom Pisha-Duffly labored with sous chef Ian Schoening to drag inspiration from their numerous backgrounds to create dishes like five-spice tater tots with curry ketchup and Ambrosia salad with matcha whipped cream, served on the restaurant’s again patio.
However at first of 2021, the couple determined to shut the restaurant, to re-imagine what the house could possibly be. On Could 22, the restaurant reopens as Oma’s Hideaway, with a full new menu, cocktails from Eem’s Eric Nelson, and a ‘70s pop artwork wonderland aesthetic.
The opening menu at Oma’s will embody a couple of new dishes and some of the best hits from chef Thomas Pisha-Duffly’s roster: Oma’s corn fritters and the Oma-zing burger with fried shallots stay on the menu from the Oma’s Takeaway days, and the chef will likely be making his personal noodles as soon as once more. However the couple’s preliminary plan — to lean into evening market, Chinese language barbecue culinary kinds — stays in place. The restaurant has a glitzy nook of the restaurant devoted to lacquered meats: charcoal roasted stomach and shoulder arrives with lettuce and herbs for wrapping, chicharrones, pickles, darkish soy gula jawa, sambal terasi, and the store’s quintessential fragrant rice; pork spare ribs are available in a fish sauce caramel, with bitter tamarind and tomato sambal. The restaurant will charcoal-roast sport hens, stuff sausages with foie and Chinese language duck, and stack fried soft-shell crabs on a sandwich with salted egg yolk mayo and inexperienced papaya slaw. For dessert, clients can select between issues like durian tiramisu and fruity pebble treats. It’s arduous to categorize; then once more, so is Thomas Pisha-Duffly. “Tom’s menus could be actually arduous to pin down, arduous to clarify conceptually as a result of they’re so particular to him. They’re very true to him and his household, the way in which he explores his identification by meals,” Mariah says. “If you already know Tom, that is completely him. The primary time Tom’s sister ate at Gado Gado, she stated ‘That is nice — it’s not genuine to Indonesian meals, however it’s very genuine to our household.’”
All through his time as a chef — from his years cooking in New England to his time designing the Oma’s menu — Thomas Pisha-Duffly has included strategies and recipes from the cooking of his Indonesian-Chinese language grandmother, Kiong Tien Vandenberg. She died of COVID-19 in 2020, and is the oma that impressed the title of the restaurant.
For the bar menu, the couple will do issues just a little in another way; prior to now, Mariah Pisha-Duffly has typically spearheaded the cocktail program at Gado Gado pop-ups and Oma’s. However Eric Nelson, the co-owner of Thai barbecue bar Eem and bar maven behind the pop-up Shipwreck, requested to sort out a number of the cocktails at Oma’s. “Each time we companion, we have now such a superb time, and we thought it’d be actually rad to attach Eem and Gado Gado by some means,” Nelson says. “[We made] only a bunch of very easy patio pounders, no Previous Fashioneds, Manhattans. They wished to have enjoyable, playful drinks.”
These drinks really feel true to Nelson’s model, which frequently takes a basis of a traditional cocktail and provides one thing perplexingly scrumptious. Take, for instance, the One Factor Led to One other, a margarita the puckering candy chunk of Thomas Pisha-Duffly’s turmeric bread-and-butter pickle juice, or the Bellwether, which lands someplace between a Penicillin and a creamsicle. The bar’s daiquiri will get a success of absinthe and recent muddled mint and basil, and the gin and tonic additionally will get some vermouth and oregano.
When the restaurant opens, clients will have the ability to dine inside at one among 4 tables, or take one of many patio’s new coated eating pods, changing the unique tent on the Oma’s patio. And, true to its origins, Oma’s will provide supply and takeout, for individuals who really feel unready to dine onsite. Oma’s opens Saturday at 3131 Southeast Division Road; look inside the brand new house beneath: