photo by Penner
For the followup to his midtown Korean tapas haven Danji, chef Hooni Kim — who has become something of an emissary for modern Korean food in New York — built Hanjan, a smartly dressed tavern just south of Koreatown styled after a joomak (a sort of Korean tavern). Kim serves a menu of beverage-friendly small plates, including fresh-killed chicken skewers, spicy cod roe stew, and a crisp green onion pancake called pajeon. Chewy rice cakes slick with pork fat are the perfect foil for mugs of makgeolli, a foggy rice beer that has a faint tropical sweetness. For a special treat, visit after 9 p.m. to sup on bowls of ramen (here called ramyun) 12 hours in the making. Kim boils down fish, pig, and chicken bones for half a day, creating a swirling, rust-colored broth smacking of chile and brimming with soft planks of chashu pork and springy noodles. If Hanjan's many boozy beverages (cocktails, soju, and, of course, makgeolli) don't have you spinning, this heady cauldron of soup should do the trick.