The Vegetarian Option: Foraged Daikon and Maitake Mushroom at OON
New to Randolph Street's restaurant row is Matt Eversman's OON. Here, a Southeast Asian twist on contemporary American cuisine harkens back to Eversman's experience as executive chef at Saigon Sisters. At a friends and family preview before the restaurant opened to the public, I had a chance to try several dishes.
One of the most memorable was an entrée simply called "foraged," which is not only vegetarian, but vegan. The braised daikon in this dish resemble scallops in their shape and browned tops. Unlike soft scallops though, these daikon are denser, with a satisfying crunch in the middle. Dried maitake mushroom and a bed of farro add earthiness and contrasting textures, while roasted brussels sprouts anchor the dish with a familiar American flavor. Carrot-ginger purée gives the dish a splash of color and touch of sweetness, easily mixing in with the farro and countering the dryness of the mushrooms.
While several of the dishes on OON's menu (grilled octopus, scallops, papaya salad and spring rolls) are tasty if predictable, this foraged dish is an unexpected addition. Daikon used as a centerpiece rather than a garnish is something I haven't seen with other vegetarian dishes around town, but the white radish can surely hold its own on the plate.