By Maria Cook
Some new twists on classic Asian fare will soon be heading to Carmel. Naked Tchopstix owner David Lee recently announced the opening of two new Naked Tchopstix locations, one in Indianapolis and one in Carmel at 365 W. 116th St.
The Carmel location was previously pizza restaurant Coalition Pizza + Wine. According to Lee, the location’s large pizza oven was one of its main selling points.
“It’s a huge oven, so I’m trying to incorporate that as much as I can,” Lee said. “We’re going to have Asian pizza, chicken teriyaki pizza or seafood pizza or Korean barbeque pizza and some vegetarian foods. Something a little different.”
Lee said the vibe of Naked Tchopstix changes from lunch to dinner. Diners can expect a very casual lunch experience and a slightly more formal dining experience.
“We are a sit-down restaurant, and we will serve beer and wine and also Asian sake at dinnertime,” Lee said. “At lunchtime, because it’s a small place, we do have some opportunities for grab-and-go.”
In addition to sushi, Asian pizza, tempura and other meal options, Lee said that his favorite Naked Tchopstix dish has always been the Dolsot Bibimbap, which features hot rice in a stone pot with vegetables.
“Vegetables, like Japanese yellow radish, spinach, shiitake mushrooms and celery, are all surrounded by the rice,” Lee said. “While they’re eating it, the bottom part of the rice cooks, so there’s a crunchy part at the bottom.”
Lee expects the Carmel location will open in early May.