High Dive plunges into the deep end of Studio Row
Coffee, karaoke, cocktails and Korean-inspired cuisine—High Dive is an epicenter of entertainment on Studio Row.
There’s no better place in Tulsa for a new restaurant concept than Studio Row. This off-the-beaten-path area is home to the famed Church Studio and eccentric shops and restaurants. It’s just the spot for a bar and restaurant where you can hang out in the morning to drink espresso, stay for a lunch of Korean street food-inspired tacos and swing by for late-night karaoke, live music and wonton nachos. That place is Foolish Things High Dive.
When Justin and Kate Carpenter, owners of Foolish Things Coffee Co. and Foolish Things Bar and Biscuit, were approached about opening another concept on Studio Row, they knew they had an opportunity to do something different.
Justin Carpenter talked it over with Hunter Gambill of Oklahoma Distilling Co., and the two considered what was missing in Tulsa. After many long conversations about everything from music to Japanese whiskey, an idea for Korean street food in a bar-dive setting began to take shape.
High Dive’s play on words as a high-concept dive bar really fits this small, casual spot with a refined menu of great food, developed by Nick Corcoran, formerly of BurnCo.
Carpenter is quick to point out he and Corcoran are not trying to pull off strictly authentic Korean food. “We are inspired by Korean cuisine. We definitely pay homage to the flavors and traditions. But we are not an authentic Korean restaurant,” he says.
And that’s good to know before you make your way over to High Dive. The tight menu features bibimpap (Korean rice bowl), fried rice and noodle bowls and Asian-style street tacos. Again, the emphasis is on “style.” The Don Squatch taco, for instance, features Korean bulgogi beef, pickled daikon, orange and barbecue sauce. The combination of flavor is great, but not exactly authentic.
Bulgogi beef is used in several dishes, and to great effect. This marinated, tender beef is thinly sliced, making it perfect in the Korean rice bowl, tacos, noodle bowls and salad.
If deciding between the rice and noodle bowls and the bibimpap, go for the bibimpap. Jasmine rice is topped with sections of shredded carrot, purple cabbage, lettuce, fresh pineapple, pickled habanero peppers and a choice of bulgogi, spicy pork, mushrooms or marinated tofu. The whole beautiful bowl is topped with a poached egg and then sprinkled with black and white sesame seeds. It’s worth taking a second to appreciate—or snap a picture—before digging in. Bibimpap ranges from $9–11.
Since opening, High Dive has become as popular for live music as food. Carpenter partnered with Horton Records to bring live acts every Thursday night, with Wednesdays reserved for karaoke. The stage features reclaimed wood from the Church Studio.
Need a little liquid courage before belting out “Endless Love” onstage? Lucky for you, the bar menu is extensive. Along with curated wine and beer lists, you’ll find a classic mix of highballs and cocktails. Toki Time is one popular offering, featuring Suntory Toki whiskey, soda water and lemon oil. The Vellocet is a stunner with green Chartreuse, pineapple juice and lime—giving it both an herbal and sweet and sour aroma.
The bar snacks at High Dive are a great complement to any cocktail as the perfect late-night food—although some items, like the wonton nachos, are just as good in the morning. Carpenter said diners have been losing their minds over those nachos, and it’s easy to see why.
A wonton chip, freshly fried and crisp, is perfection on its own. But High Dive takes it a step further and covers them in melted cheese, marinated vegetables and green onion. Top it with the beef bulgogi or spicy pork, and you have next-level deliciousness.
You’ll also find a great corn dip served with wonton chips, a savory Korean pancake and “cheese and crackers,” which is a block of cream cheese topped with candied jalapeno and a drizzle of soy sauce. It’s perfect for passing around the table, sharing until the last cracker is gone.
Like at his other Foolish Things locations, Carpenter is committed to the idea of community space. High Dive’s hours are 11 a.m. to 10 p.m., and you’ll find people milling in and out throughout the day. It’s one reason high-quality coffee is also part of the menu. Between coffee, karaoke, cocktails and cuisine—this new Studio Row gem is sure to become a part of your regular Tulsa routine.