Oi, what a great bite

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Oi, what a great bite

The walls of Oi are covered with chalk drawings of the menu options and various doodles. (Genna Gold/The Sundial)

The walls of Oi are covered with chalk drawings of the menu options and various doodles. (Genna Gold/The Sundial)

The walls of Oi are covered with chalk drawings of the menu options and various doodles. (Genna Gold/The Sundial)

The walls of Oi are covered with chalk drawings of the menu options and various doodles. (Genna Gold/The Sundial)

Genna Gold

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On the busy corner of Sherman Way and Canoga Avenue is Oi, Canoga Park’s very own Asian fusion hidden treasure. This hole in the wall serves an eclectic mix of classic American soul food and Asian staples.

“We’re a casual fast food restaurant, and with as many options as there are out there, with your McDonald’s and Jack in the Box’s everywhere, we are the less typical, more gourmet option,” Richard Hernandez, 31-year-old manager at Oi, said. “Everything we make is freshly made to order and almost all of our products are homemade.”

Oi's Adobo Bowl, $8, consists of braised pork belly, adobo sauce, soft boiled egg and scallions. (Genna Gold/The Sundial)

Oi’s Adobo Bowl, $8, consists of braised pork belly, adobo sauce, soft boiled egg and scallions. (Genna Gold/The Sundial)

Owner of Oi, Eric De La Cruz, is Filipino and was having a hard time finding decent Filipino food in the area other than a few mom and pop shops, so he saw the opportunity to fill the void, according to Hernandez.

As soon as you step foot through Oi’s glass front doors, you are welcomed by hip-hop music, modern art and chalk drawings of the menu options.

“We have a pretty hip, laid back atmosphere here. Everyone who works here is fairly young and we have the hip-hop music playing all day,” Hernandez said, “But it’s not like your gangster rap or anything, it’s old school and jazzy because we have a lot of families who come in as well.”

In addition to the family friendly vibe of the music and chalk drawings is the game section in the back. Families and groups of friends who are waiting for their meals can pass the time with a magazine or a game like Janga.

“I go to Pierce down the street and my brother goes to CSUN a few miles away, so we try to get together for lunch at least once a week and this is our spot,” Dylan Lerner, 19-year-old Pierce College student, said. “The burger is honestly one of the best things I’ve ever eaten.”

Oi Burger, $9, consists of an angus beef burger, pickled red onions, truffled balsamic shiitake mushrooms, muenster cheese, mayo, arugula and a pretzel bun. (Genna Gold/ The Sundial)

Oi Burger, $9, consists of an angus beef burger, pickled red onions, truffled balsamic shiitake mushrooms, muenster cheese, mayo, arugula and a pretzel bun. (Genna Gold/ The Sundial)

Their Oi Burger, $9, is made with an angus beef patty and garnished with pickled red onions, truffled balsamic shiitake mushrooms, muenster cheese, mayo and arugula with a hardy pretzel bun. As soon as you bite into the patty, the juices begin to run down your hands. The umami flavor from the truffled balsamic mushrooms are the perfect compliment to the sharp vinegar taste of the onions and peppery arugula.

“My fiancé is Filipino, so we’re always trying to find good Filipino food in the valley,” Mindy Fragoso, 24-year-old long time Oi customer, said. “You can tell there’s a hint of the mother-land (The Philippines) in the cooking. I love finding new places like this that most people probably never heard of.”

Something refreshingly different about Oi’s fried chicken is how light and crunchy it is. Instead of coating the chicken in corn starch or all purpose flour, the restaurant uses potato flour, which makes for a much lighter and airier coating. The ‘Karaage Fried Chicken Bun’, $3.50, is not only affordable but is the perfect hand held snack on-the-go. The bun is filled with Japanese fried chicken, lemon mayo, cucumber, lettuce and scallions.

“Our ultimate goal is to keep on expanding,” Hernandez said. “The first year was pretty slow; we only had 2 tables. But we’re on our third location and plan on opening more.”

Website: www.oiasianfusion.com
Address: 7242 Canoga Ave. Canoga Park, CA 91303
Tel: 818-776-0282
Email: oiasianfusion@gmail.com
Hours: 11am-10pm everyday