After much anticipation, a full reveal inside the brainchild of David Reiss (The Brig, Alibi Room) and Kogi king Roy Choi at A-Frame, opening tomorrow. Last night Eater popped by for friends and family, to wine, dine, and take in the Knibb-designed space. It's an equal balance of sleek, sexy, and industrial, from the raw blonde wood walls to the simple modern furniture juxtaposed against the surprisingly comfortable cement banquettes topped with skinny black and beige burlap cushions. The unfinished cement floor matches the banquettes which reappear on the outside patio by the fire pit. That soaring A-frame ceiling, once the home to an I-HOP, houses a series of speakers perched high above diners kicking out a mixed medley of hip hop and other beats. Inside one will find a series of four-tops along the perimeter of the room, in addition to an orange communal dining table which quite resembles a picnic table. Random? Probably not. Outside another series of tables with plastic orange chairs appear on the patio, follow them, and the swinging bells, down the path and hit the fire pit with those cement benches. Inside one will also find the bar, almost a complete contradiction to the minimalist bare space. Where the restaurant's walls remain absolutely unadorned, no embellishments, no foliage, nothing, the bar appears muddled with bottles of booze and various nicknacks. Random? Probably not.
For anyone familiar with the fare of Roy Choi, say either Kogi or Chego, his menu here isn't a huge departure from what one might expect. Powerful, finger licking flavors in the air-dried baby back ribs (hoisin-chili glaze, green onion, sesame) and the peel-n-eat shrimp (kaffir lime leaf, dried shrimp salt, cocktail sauce, citrus), this is a carnivore's playground, veggies don't get a ton of air time here. Don't miss the cracklin' beer can chicken (century egg, salt, pepper, salsa roja and verde) served half or whole, another standout goes to the Korean bbq lamb chops (citrus gremolata and salsa verde). As expected, most dishes on Choi's menu can be consumed with one's hands, however utensils are conveniently left on tables ready at diner's discretion. One of the few non-meat dishes falls to the vegetable tempura which manifests itself as paper thin crisps of kabocha pumpkin and airy broccoli rabe served with an addictive shoyu dipping sauce. Dare you to eat just one.
Like the menu at Chego, there's a touch of whimsy on this menu too, for dessert catch the Chu Don't Know Mang, pound cake churros blanketed in cinnamon sugar served with a glass of malted chocolate milk and vanilla ice cream. Other options include a Thick Ass Ice Cream Sandwich and fried apple pie.
The bar here, not surprisingly, is also a point of interest. Craft beers grace this list (13 in total) like Sublimely Self-Righteous Ale from Stone and Dogfish Head 90 Minute. Vino follows sort, five red and five white boutique selections, plus a bubbly Prosecco. And then, the cocktails. First off, if you order a silly cocktail, expect to receive a silly glass, management spent a fair amount of time combing local estate sales to stock up on vintage bar glasses. Also, starting this coming Sunday, A-Frame introduces punch bowls, so rather than ordering a bottle of wine for the table, order a bowl of punch for the table. Fun.
Anyway, as for as the cocktail menu, definitely note interesting additions like Fine Print (aged rum, Crism Hibiscus, Falernum, lime, Regans Orange) served in a tumbler with one of those perfectly round, massively large ice cubes. There's the Hot Minute (gin, Vietnamese mint, demerara, lime, soda), Red Rover (tequila, sherry, orgeat, lemon, orange, Angostura), and Mainland (Pisco, lilikoi, lime, ehh white, cayennt).
Very good news for west sides: A-Frame serves food until midnight, the bar pours until 2AM. Lunch service coming down the line.
·All A-Frame Coverage [~ELA~]