Residents of Brunswick East can now supplement their diet of pizza with something a little different: American-style burgers with a Korean inflection.

Lorance Darwish left his Chapel Street fashion label, Urbbana, to open Little Oscar. He was inspired by a trip to New York’s Koreatown district around West 32nd Street.

The menu, by head chef Will Riman, ticks off East-West fusions like sites in a guidebook. There’s a Korean-fried-chicken burger with kimchi, and gochujang Wagyu served in a soft taco. There are chicken ribs in Korean-fried, sweet-Thai and smoked-barbeque varieties. And a Nutella baklava. A delicately fried piece of silken tofu, served simply in a seafood and miso broth, is more subtle. Straight-laced burgerists can opt for the Little Oscar, with Wagyu beef, cheese, lettuce, pickles, tomato and onion jam.

The requisite level of puns has been applied to the cocktail list – take, for example, the Korean Cowboy, a mix of soju and bekseju (a glutinous rice-based wine), or the Hello, Is It Mojito You’re Looking For, which is exactly what it sounds like. Crafty drinkers will enjoy the tap beer, provided exclusively by WA’s Nail Brewing. Wine is mostly a mix of New Zealand and South Australian standards.

Jean-Pierre Biasol’s fit-out is slick. The concrete and raw brick are softened with streamers of rope. Just the right number of tables makes Little Oscar intimate without being crowded. Live acts and regular DJs deliver chilled, neighbourhood vibes. American, Korean, Australian, whatever – Little Oscar is right at home in Brunswick.

Little Oscar
41 Lygon Street, Brunswick

Mon to Wed 12pm–11pm
Thu to Sat 12pm–1am