Lynn Miller has envisioned welcoming people into a restaurant of her own for 30 years. Her dream becomes reality on May 28, when she plans to open Oseyo at 1628 E. Cesar Chavez St. in East Austin.
“I’ve had the concept in my brain since I was literally like 14 years old,” said Miller, a Korean-American raised in Dallas and a graduate of the School of Hotel Administration at Cornell University.
Growing up in Dallas with one foot in Korean culture and another rooted in American society, Miller was long confounded by the lack of awareness surrounding Korean culture, given the ubiquity of other Asian cultures and cuisines like Chinese and Japanese.
Food was a big part of her family’s culture, and Miler learned to cook from her mother. She has taken those recipes and with the help of celebrated Austin chef and friend Rene Ortiz, scaled them to meet the demands of a professional environment. Miller has devised a menu that will be executed by executive chef Mike Diaz, who has spent the past 11 years in Austin working at Elizabeth Street Cafe, Olamaie, Bufalina Due and, most recently, at Dai Due Taqueria. Oseyo will initially be open for nightly dinner service at 4 p.m., with plans to add lunch and brunch in the coming weeks.
While Korean cuisine has achieved a higher profile in recent years thanks to the accomplishments of celebrity chef David Chang, whoe Majordomo in Los Angeles puts spins on Korean flavors, and recent James Beard Award winners Beverly Kim and Johnny Clark of Parachute in Chicago, Miller says Oseyo will not be a fusion or chef-driven restaurant, instead focusing on traditional Korean dishes like banchan, pa jeon (scallion pancakes), bo ssam (slow roasted pork belly), bibimbap, kimchi jigae, a selection of soups, whole mackerel and wood-grilled Korean BBQ. The restaurant will also feature a full bar making inventive modern cocktails, some of which will incorporate traditional Korean ingredients.
“It’s really a story of my Korean-American upbringing,” Miller said.
The restaurant was built on the site of the former Los Huaraches, which Miller and partners Victor Wang and Elisa Jiang had originally hope to update before running into a slew of practical concerns. The group decided on the location after Wang, a regular of Los Huaraches due to its proximity to his office, was approached by the owners looking to sell.
Miller says the modern restaurant will be fun and approachable featuring pieces of her story throughout the space, including an antique grandfather clock that was her great grandfather’s clock in Korea, a wall of artifacts from her childhood home, and Korean fabric arts, basketry, ceramic arts and calligraphy.
“My restaurant is more about the concept and the experience and elevating Korean culture,” Miller said.
Miller spent the early part of her hospitality career in New York City, where she worked at The New York Palace Hotel and Savoy Restaurant, and eventually landed in Austin, where she focused on raising her family and working in real estate. But the world of restaurants always beckoned.
“I’ve come to this moment many times,” Miller said of the possibility of opening her own restaurant. She had never been ready before. She is now.
As for the name? “Oseyo” is a casual Korean greeting roughly translated to “welcome to my home.”
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