Dining rooms are closed, but restaurants are still cooking and people still need jobs, so we’re reviewing to-go offerings from local eateries in a new feature called Take Me Out. If you enjoy these and want to see more, consider joining the I Ate Oklahoma Patreon for $1 a month.
If there was one place I never thought I’d be getting to-go food from, it’s Nonesuch. And yet, in the time of coronavirus, anything becomes possible.
The menu is limited and a la carte. That’s right: The Menu. Nonesuch has never had a menu before, at least not like this. You always get a list of what you ate after the meal, but actually ordering food...it’s a whole new world.
How to order: Call (405) 601-9131 and be prepared with your credit card. They list menus on Twitter (twitter.com/nonesuchokc), Facebook (facebook.com/nonesuchokc), and Instagram (instagram.com/nonesuchokc). They’re also doing Prix Fixe for 2 meals at lunch and dinner, but those are ordered via Tock (exploretock.com/nonesuch).
As I am only one person for the time being (who knows if I’ll crack cloning during all this), I ordered off the a la carte menu.
The process is pretty easy. Over the phone, they just take your order and work with you on when you’ll be arriving. Probably good to remember that this restaurant has only 20 seats and usually serves the food within seconds of it being cooked—they’re trying their best to give you the Nonesuch experience outside of Nonesuch. That’s a tough line to walk.
When you’re there, call and someone will bring your food out to your car and you’re on your way. I’m an idiot, though, so I walked there on a very blustery day to get my order and then walked back. Genius.
Is there something lost in the experience of taking Nonesuch to go? Yes. I mean, let’s be very honest here: food is almost always better in the restaurant. And while Nonesuch makes some incredibly intricate and delicious food, their team of chefs focuses on plating and atmosphere as well. Making the jump to packaging dishes means some of the artistry is lost in translation, as is the care the chefs take in explaining each dish to you.
If that sounded like a dig, it wasn’t. I’m absolutely floored that Nonesuch and other high-end spots across the metro are doing this. I understand why, certainly, but it’s absolutely wild to me that I got to enjoy Nonesuch at lunch, at a table where I was working.
The first thing on the menu was exactly what I wanted: dandan noodles with chili oil, crispy pork, and pecan tahini ($15). Warm, slightly sticky noodles are coated in a vibrant chili oil that will tickle your taste buds but doesn’t blow you out on heat. The crispy pork bits are tiny, crunchy, and lovely. They are studded throughout the noodles, ensuring you’ll get a little with each bite.
It’s not just about the flavor, though that’s wonderful, but the texture. Every bite has some chew, some crunch, some spice, some heat. It’s food that takes your mind off...you know. All of this.
If you’re not a meat eater, the grilled vegetables with yogurt and seasoned bread crumbs ($12) is warm and inviting. Grilling veggies—broccoli, cauliflower, and carrots, among others—brings out their hidden sweetness without destroying that satisfying crisp crunch you want. Dressed in a thick yogurt, you get a bit of tang and some added richness from the bread crumbs. There’s also a hint of something briny in there. Possibly capers? No, says Chef Jeremy Wolf: they’re capered allium pods.
“After the chives flower, they make those pods,” he said. “We pluck them and brine them.”
Not weird enough for you? Okay, I get it. Nonesuch is known for getting crazy, so the item you’re looking for it: okonomoyaki ($15).
It’s a savory Japanese pancake, though some people say it’s Japanese pizza. I mean, it’s a round disk of bread with stuff on top of it...I’ve heard worse comparisons. But I’ve also never had a pizza with this combo—Szechuan pickles, pork belly, nori (aka seaweed), kewpie mayo, bonita flakes. Maybe that last ingredient threw you, so I’ll explain. It’s these almost translucent flakes of dried, fermented fish flakes. They are flavor bombs and the accent they give this dish is HUGE. It might not be for everyone, but it was definitely for me. Plan to share this one, though, because it will overwhelm you.
Milk bread rolls and homemade butter ($12) is exactly what it sounds like and exactly what I wanted. Warm, soft rolls and creamy, salty butter. You can eat all of them yourself. You can. I don’t know if you should, but it’s an option and one I definitely pondered.
Oh, and I didn’t only get a quart of bison broth ($8) to recreate this Baby Yoda picture, but I also wasn’t about to not recreate this Baby Yoda picture.
The broth is warm and heady. It’s not beef broth, but you can see how they’re similar. There’s a bit more funk to it, in a way I really enjoyed. Sip it solo or use it to make a hearty vegetable and pasta stew at home. You’ve got Nonesuch ingredients at your disposal now. You can get absolutely wild with it.
Thank you very much to my Patreon friends for making these Take Me Out reviews possible. I know we’re all struggling right now, so even giving up $1 means the world to me and helps me continue supporting local eateries with the only thing I know how to make: weird Internet posts.