For an outstanding taste of Asian-inspired cuisine in the heart of Oklahoma City, make sure to check out Guernsey Park in the Paseo District
Once August hits, I rarely leave Stillwater, and it’s even more rare for me to leave Oklahoma. There’s just too much to do to get ready for the first game. The last 2 years we’ve played our first game in Houston and then Dallas, so of course I went to those. But other than that, only 2 exceptions. The first was a couple years ago for a reunion with my Purdue friends, many of whom I hadn’t seen in 20 years. The second exception was 2 weeks ago, for Joni’s daughter’s wedding in Texas. The wedding was Saturday evening, and since I was in pretty good shape work-wise at that point I decided to drive down Friday afternoon. I had to deliver a couple of suite ticket packages in OKC, and planned to have lunch before hitting the road.
As usual, I didn’t really know what I wanted to eat. I checked restaurant.com first, but nothing jumped out at me. Then I checked Keep it Local, an Oklahoma-based program that gives discounts at Oklahoma-owned businesses. Most of the discounts are about 10% off the bill, but the more important thing is supporting local businesses. My friend Dianne had raved about Guernsey Park, declaring it food blog worthy. She doesn’t play around when it comes to food, so it was an easy decision. Guernsey Park is located in the Paseo District, in Uptown OKC.
As I walked up to the Guernsey Park building I really didn’t know what to expect…it’s down a little narrow road, behind the row of shops on 23rd Avenue. If you don’t know where you’re going, you will totally miss it.
It’s a 2 1/2-story building, with a sizable patio on the right. As you enter the front door, the waiting area and bar is all white furniture. Kind of like what you would see in a NYC nightclub. To the right and down a couple of stairs are a sushi bar and a few dining tables. Upstairs is a much larger dining area, and that is where I sat. The upstairs has tall ceilings, light maple wood floors, dark cherry wood tables and chairs. The walls have whitewashed wood paneling on them, and also one black feature wall. There is also a ton of natural light flowing in from the large windows. It’s a very unique atmosphere. The patio is on the ground floor, accessible from either the sushi dining area or the main dining room.
Guernsey Park closes between lunch and dinner. You really don’t see that often, making it an even more unique restaurant. And then on Sundays it’s only open for lunch.
The Guernsey Park menu is Asian-inspired. At first I thought about getting sushi, but then as I read the other side of the menu there were several items that jumped out at me. I rarely do appetizers, especially by myself, but I was starving so I started with the oxtail ravioli
Wow. This is possibly the best appetizer I’ve ever had. I know some people don’t like meat on the bone. You have no idea what you’re missing. That bone keeps the meat so tender, and adds just a great depth of flavor that you won’t get otherwise. I could have eaten a whole tray of these and I would have been happy.
I’ve never been a fan of tofu. It’s super bland, and I have a hard time getting past the texture. But I knew I wouldn’t be eating well on this trip, so I wanted to go healthy. At first I 100% decided to do the tofu wrap, which was shocking in and of itself. But then I started to waiver…it’s almost too healthy. I asked my server for recommendations and he immediately said tofu. I didn’t really believe him, and questioned why. He said it had a really good mix of flavors. I was almost convinced, and then said I’m not a big fan of tofu, but wanted to be adventurous. Then he said the tofu isn’t fried or sauteed. We agreed it wouldn’t be a good choice, so I went with my other option, grilled Nem Nuong
Again, wow. I can’t describe the flavor of the sausage other than outstanding. Like the oxtail, it is so tender and juicy. I was caught off-guard by the cold vermicelli, but it makes sense since this dish is a salad. The hot sausage provides a great contrast to the cold noodles and lettuce. I’ll say it, I love everything fried. So I was extremely happy with the wonton strips. I’ve never had peanut vinaigrette, but it is delicious and much lighter than peanut sauce. This is a very generous lunch portion, but it was so good I ate the whole thing. I can’t imagine the tofu wrap has a chance of being more flavorful than this dish.
When I texted Dianne to ask what to get for lunch, her response was I couldn’t leave without getting carrot cake. Clearly that’s not lunch, but since both she and Betty raved about it, I had to try it out. I also asked the server to immediately bring me a to-go container, because I knew I wouldn’t be able to finish it.
I have to be honest. Carrot cake is low on my list of favorite desserts. But, this one was really good. The cake is quite dense, but has a lot of flavor. The cream cheese ice cream is excellent, and the candied orange slivers add a nice tart bite. I ate about 1/3 there, and had the rest as a treat after the wedding.
Will I go back to Guernsey Park? Absolutely. The food was outstanding, the service was very good, and I really enjoyed the atmosphere. I definitely want to go back when it’s beautiful weather to sit out on the patio, but I’ll go at any time to enjoy the food.
For reviews of more restaurants in Oklahoma City, click on the photos below!