Katherine Oh grew up working in her family’s restaurants. Now, the Maspeth resident has struck out on her own to open The Green Street LIC, a paleo-friendly Korean barbecue joint that officially opened in Oct. 6.
Located at 10-39 47th Rd. in Long Island City, the restaurant is tucked in between two- and three-story homes. Though the storefront looks unassuming, the large 26,000-square-foot building pays homage to the neighborhood’s increasingly fleeting industrial vibe.
Oh, who is a project manager at her father’s company, Peninsula Construction, spotted a “for sale” sign at the former warehouse after her yoga session across the street.
“As soon as I walked in, I kinda just knew what I wanted to do with the place,” Oh said.
Her parents ran a Korean barbecue and sushi restaurant in Flushing and Oh has incorporated what she learned in the kitchen into her own restaurant. But Oh, who is health-conscious, adds a twist to her offerings.
Instead of soy sauce, The Green Street LIC only uses gluten-free Tamari sauce to cook. White sugar is replaced with organic coconut sugar for flavoring all of the dishes and drinks. Most of the dishes also have a paleo version. For example, the paleo Korean fried chicken is coated in almond flour and tapioca instead of traditional flour.
“There were just so many things [in traditional Korean dishes] that were paleo-friendly just the way it is – the sides, dips and even the beans we use,” Oh said.
Vegans also have a plethora of dishes to choose from including spicy garlic marinated eggplant, organic cauliflower in Tahini, sizzling Brussels sprouts and an eclectic mix of Mediterranean sides. Oh incorporated recipes she learned from her Egyptian fiance’s mother into the menu, including beet salad, a roasted red pepper dip and Mediterranean salad with organic tomato, cucumber and feta cheese.
Korean barbecue joints typically serve large portions of meat with vegetable sides for $30 to $40. Oh decided to cut the portions in half so patrons can mix and match. Meat lovers can choose between two “sets” that include bulgogi, pork belly, pork jowl, ginger chicken thighs, grilled wild Spanish octopus, organic lemon garlic shrimp and more.
Servers cook the meat for patrons using a down-draft system so the smoke is pulled from below. Oh wanted to show off the high ceilings in the space so she decided to forego installing ducts above the picnic-style wooden tables.
There is also a vegan set option and all the meat offerings can be ordered as a la carte items. The meat is provided by Meat Dorks, a network of ranchers and butchers that deliver grass-fed beef and pasture-raised meats to restaurants across the country.
Even the desserts are paleo-friendly and vegan. Watt Sriboonruang, a Muy Thai fighter and friend of Oh, wanted to create a dessert she could eat even when she was cutting weight. Rawsome Treats was born and the options are delicious.
They include Trisome Berry Pie, a mixed berry-vanilla filling with a chocolate chip crust and dark chocolate drizzle, and Coconut Dream with cashews, coconut meat, agave, dates, dried coconut flakes, vanilla, Himalayan salt and coconut oil.
Matcha fans can also order the Matchmisu pie and other options include Banana Cream Pie and TiRAWmisu – a cashew almond date sponge cake.
All of the pies are dairy free, gluten free, soy free, vegan, paleo-friendly, 100 percent natural and contain no refined sugar.
The Green Street LIC serves wine, beer and Korean liquors, many of which are organic. A self-serve breakfast menu is also available from 7 to 11 a.m. and lunch is served from 11:30 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Oh hopes to open the 800-square-foot mezzanine for parties and extra seating soon and is also aiming to start a rooftop garden. She is also working with a 5Pointz artist to decorate the side of her restaurant with a red 7 train to give her space an “old LIC feel.”
For more information, visit the restaurant’s Facebook page.