Written by Jen Stevenson
Oma’s Hideaway was born of a takeout-focused pop-up pivot designed to carry Hollywood District hotspot Gado Gado through the darkest days of the pandemic shutdown, but then proved too popular to scuttle when the restaurant reopened. This bright and cheery Division Street gem is just the place to spend a summer evening with a jackfruit daiquiri. Taking over the former Whiskey Soda Lounge space, Chef Thomas Pisha-Duffly and Mariah Pisha-Duffly’s second venture is an homage to Thomas’s beloved late oma or grandmother, Kiong Tien Vandenberg, with the hearty belly-warming and spirits-lifting Southeast Asian comfort food to match. The menu showcases Pisha-Duffly’s creativity via intensely flavorful dishes such as sweet-chili soy-soaked corn fritters, Chinese sausage- and shrimp-studded char kway teow noodle stir-fry and several satisfying variations of nasi lemak, Malaysia’s national dish—try the golden, crispy fried chicken with creamy yellow curry and fried curry leaves, signature coconut rice, boiled egg with sambal chili sauce, green beans, tiny fried anchovies, peanuts, bread and butter turmeric pickles and garlicky krupuk prawn crackers. It’s playfully plated on a guava-pink cafeteria tray (or tucked into a peanut-sauce brown takeaway box).
Come dessert time, it would take a hard- or mightily disciplined heart to resist Oma’s Hideaway’s Rice Crispy treat, a whimsically chewy mix of Fruity Pebbles cereal, marshmallow, lemongrass, lime leaves and a generous smattering of rainbow sprinkles. Mariah Pisha-Duffly’s mocktails get just as much respect as their excellent booze-infused counterparts here. Sip a refreshing cucumber-cilantro limeade or tamarind-pineapple soda, or bliss out with a cucumber-lime CBD soda. For those sticking to takeout, a seamless contact-free ordering and pick-up system is in place, and the heated and covered patio dining has bright oilcloth-draped picnic tables beneath kaleidoscopic chandeliers and strings of paper pineapples and twinkle lights, and when it’s chilly, B.Y.O. blanket. For more comfort, order the stuffed with sweet and sour eggplant and apple tamarind-glazed pork ribs, sip a second round of boozy bourbon, jasmine tea, and lemongrass slushies, and you’ll feel nurtured, just as oma would have wanted.
3131 SE DIVISION ST.