Hours: Dinner: Sunday, Tuesday-Saturday
Edward Kim and team's eclectic Asian-influenced restaurant.
For their West Town restaurant, chef Edward Kim—who trained at the LA Cordon Bleu and externed at Thomas Keller's Per Se—and his front-of-the-house partners Vicki Kim (sister) and Jenny Kim (unrelated), engaged the salvage design team Alter Ego Form (Simone's, the Boiler Room) to construct an interesting but ultimately distracting environment from seat-belt-strap banquettes, repurposed church pews, a photography-light-table-fixture looming overhead, and a darkroom door leading into a water closet papered with rock-show flyers. If that all sounds capricious or immaterial, the ceiling is covered with cookbook pages, and Kim's favorite tomes are mounted on the walls like museum pieces—just in case you can't tell where he's coming from by what arrives on the plate. I'm still not sure I can. K-Town Empanadas are the most obvious expression of his professed French-Asian-Latin inclinations: large, flaky pastries drizzled in chimichurri creme fraiche and full of stretchy Oaxacan cheese and mild kimchi. It's a winning combination that sells the unsung versatility of spicy fermented cabbage. The menu's three multi-ingredient salads—apple, plum, and arugula; fried eggplant, cucumber, and yogurt; jicama, grapefruit, and corn bread—are uncomplicated, well balanced, and bracingly fresh, but none of them is particularly memorable. Kim's hits, however, are unforgettable. His crispy, moist pan-seared trout fillet was the most perfect one I'll probably ever meet, dabbed with basil puree and plated alongside asparagus and nutty bulgur tabouleh seeded with sweet dates. A creamy lychee panna cotta topped with toasted coconut, neither too sweet nor too tangy, also served to highlight the quaintness of the only other dessert option, good ol' flourless chocolate cake. Read the full review >>
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