Oiistar | Wicker Park/Bucktown | Japanese, Noodles | Restaurant
David Changian noodle bar featuring buns, ramen, and some surprisingly successful meldings of East and West.

Our Review

Se Je "Sunny" Yim has established his noodle bar in a Wicker Park storefront that blasts 90s hip-hop and screens vintage cartoons on the walls. The similarities between his restaurant and David Chang's Momofuku are apparent both in the decor (open kitchen, birchwood walls) and the menu, which features both ramen and another Chang signature, Peking duck-style steamed buns. Born of an 18-hour pork-bone simmer, the broth employed in three of Yim's bowls is lip-smackingly thick and rich, and if he'd left well enough alone he'd really have something there, particularly as complemented by his long, textured noodles, made in-house each day. But in all four soups the preponderance of seasoning—salt, pepper, chiles—masks their best qualities. The buns, which run $8 to $9 for a pair, are spongy white-bread tacos of sweet balsamic-glazed portobellos, pork belly, or sliced duck breast, the last especially good. The balance of the menu features mostly uninspiring East-West appetizers, with a few key exceptions: a cucumber salad scattered with arugula, Parmesan, and crushed almonds, and what Yim calls "French kimchi soup," a steaming, spicy swamp of kimchi and meaty slices of andouille, encrusted with gooey melted provolone. Read the full review >>

Mike Sula

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Price: $$
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