We are likely going to frequent the West Village weekly because we’ve nearly tapped out the heart of the Midtown area. This area is densely populated with a high number of restaurants that goes through frequent turnovers and change. Oppa Bistro was an audible call when we learned that Olio e Piu was very packed at around 5:30 PM on a Friday. We were able to walk into Oppa Bistro with no reservations at around 5:45 PM, and there was just a handful of diners.
The interior is fairly dim, and we were seated in a 2 seater next to a large pillar. The service was pretty fast and effective, and the waitress suggested good options. What was strange to us was that the kitchen was located at the corner of the restaurant towards the front of the room, whereas seating wrapped around it. It worked fine, but we thought that was something different than other restaurants we’ve been to.
The Elderflower Spritz ($10 for happy hour) cocktail came with elderflower, vodka, and prosecco. They gave surprisingly a lot, and my partner enjoyed this. The elderflower was subtle, but the drink itself blended very well.
The Salmon Tartare ($18) came with cured wild salmon, cucumber, roe, and baguette. I’m generally not a fan of tartare or crudo, but my partner enjoyed this. However just a warning that there are subtle hints of wasabi. If you’re someone that absolutely loathes it, then you may want to ask if that can be taken off. My partner was not bothered by it.
The Short Rib Slider ($21) came with slow cooked Korean short rib, carrot puree, lettuce, kimchi, and garlic aioli. I was shocked by the size of these so-called sliders. It literally is like 2 larger-than-usual-slider breads. It’s a pretty good amount for 1 person. The sliders themselves had good flavor, though be warned that the aioli had some subtle hints of horseradish. My partner was bothered just a bit by this, but I thought it was enjoyable. You can definitely eat this with fork and knife. The fries were super crispy and tasty.
The Pork Belly ($19) came with slow cooked crispy pork belly, apple ball, broccoli raab, and jalapeño doenjang glaze. The pork belly was beautifully fried, crispy, and tender. The garnishes were all very complementary, and everything was enjoyable albeit slightly pricey given portion size. This was classified as a “Main” dish. The waitress recommended a side to also order with this.
The side of Kimchi Fried Rice ($12) came with a done egg on top. The rice was cooked nicely, and each grain was very thoroughly coated with those kimchi flavors. It had a bit of heat to it as well with that sour kimchi fermented aftertaste, so it was pretty good! My partner also enjoyed this as well. I always feel a bit disappointed when ordering this because it’s something you can easily make at home, but nonetheless, it was pretty good.
Oppa Bistro is a decent alternative Korean-ish restaurant in West Village. It’s not super packed, and the food is definitely friendly for sharing and is easy to walk in without reservations.
The drinks which were always quick to order and have a kick came to the table missing 90% of the alcohol. The service was non-existent for the majority of the night.
The drinks do have the alcohol, and you can taste it. I don’t know what this Elitist was looking for specifically. When we were there, the service was not super attentive, but it was easy for us to flag down a server. For these types of restaurants, I don’t typically hold a high bar for service.
All four of our dishes lacked flavor and I want to call out the tofu steak entree as particularly lazy (simply a few pieces of plain fried tofu with a basic sauce drizzled on top) while still paying NY restaurant prices.
Well, it is tofu after all. Outside of that, I wouldn’t come here expecting spectacular flavors. There’s only so much you can do at this price range and away from Koreatown.
- Dec 2, 2022 - Initial revision.