This week sake sommelier and former wd-50 research and development cook John McCarthy opened his second New York restaurant Oka in Murray Hill, which is throwing off the yoke of douchedom with some enticing new dining options. McCarthy mimics the izakaya format, reinterpreting the Japanese pub style "through a New York lens." Oka means "hill" in Japanese.

Drinks and food are on equal footing, as the izakaya experience revolves around unwinding with beverages and snacks in a casual setting. McCarthy selected the sakes and shochus himself, along with the other alcoholic offerings, which include cocktails like the Lillet Blossom made with Lillet, vodka, Ginjo Sake, ginger and grapefruit.

Composed plates include cold dishes like a bowl of salmon roe nestled in yeasted sunchoke puree with crispy chips ($9), a Japanese potato salad decorated with edible flowers and a crisp made from prosciutto ($7), and baguette with a shio kombu compound butter with smoked salt ($5). Larger hot dishes include udon with a soft egg ($13), grilled squid in a pool of black garlic oil and kewpie mayo ($11), and kara-age with sesame mayo and black sesame ($9).

439 Third Avenue, Murray Hill, 929-367-8607;

Oka Food Menu by Nell Casey on Scribd

Oka Beverage Menu by Nell Casey on Scribd