Thursday, October 6, 2016

Hanbun Heaven

LOL - so the reason I called this post Hanbun Heaven is because Kevin kept saying he had transcended with every course - LOL so here we go...

In the center of this mostly Chinese row of food stalls sits an outlier, Hanbun, a Korean stand run by 26-year-old chef David Park and his fiancee, Jennifer Tran, both graduates of the Culinary Institute of America, the country's preeminent culinary school. What Park is doing in this cramped suburban stand is so different from what any Korean restaurant in the region does that it's worth a pilgrimage or two (or more) from wherever you are on the map.

Park offers two menus at Hanbun, each informed by his Korean heritage (he was born in Anyang, south of Seoul) and his formal Western culinary training, which included stages at Le Bernardin, Tru, and L2O, and longer stints at the Aviary and Wicker Park's late Storefront Company, where he rose to sous chef. The lunchtime menu, offered from 11 AM to 3 PM Tuesday through Sunday, features about a dozen familiar, homey Korean dishes plus a special or two, executed with the thoughtfulness and precision that only a chef forged in the crucible of the fine-dining kitchen can pull off. (from The Reader)

hanbun defines Dave's vision as an homage to Korean food through thoughtfully prepared Korean inspired dishes that push Korean cuisine forward. The menu showcases simplistic dishes while utilizing nontraditional techniques. We wish to share the culinary sentiments that Dave enjoyed as a child growing up in Korea with subtle modern western approaches. Join Dave down memory lane and fall in love with hanbun!

What is juhnyuk?  Juhnyuk means dinner in Korean.

Will all the food be Korean? No, the food is very global but often with Korean influences. (from their website)

photos in exact menu order- I loved every course- had a slight preference for the savory courses but since I am not a sweet lover I especially liked the first dessert course as well... great textures and sweet-ish but not cloying... this was fabulous food and nothing was even close to "ordinary".... really great dinner!

a bottle of Gimmonet Champagne missed out on being in the photo-

This meal was excellent- it is a trek to Westmont for north side city dwellers but the place is definitely worth a journey.  We understand from Kevin and Shari that the lunch is also terrific- so this one gets a big thumbs up from all who attended tonight!

Tomorrow we are off for LA and the Desert Trip music festival - you won't hear form us until later Monday- so keep looking - I am sure we have a lot to say about this massive event....

stay tuned----

Tuesday, October 4, 2016

return to tanta

So last night we returned to Tanta to see if it was as good as we thought it was the first visit.  And yes- it was...

we had some things that were repeats and some new items which looked good to try-

we started with the two favorite in the Tiraditos and Cebiches categories- classico and nikei

both still terrific!  Then we went on to the pulpo - amazingly tender and beautifully spiced! (new to us dish)

a repeat of the carne empanadas which we LOVED both times I would go there just to eat these!

another new to us dish - from the sea - scallops with foam of aged Parmesan - Phil liked this one better  than I did -

then we went on to our very favorite from the last visit - the pork fried rice dish which was our main reason for returning! 

and we had it with two new to us entrees - the short rib and the duck - we thought the whole fish was too much for just the two of us and the chicken was the least inspired dish of our last visit so - on to some new things-

the short rib was served with a marvelous tarro puree and the duck with a fab verde rice both incredibly flavorful for starch accompaniments -

plenty of left overs came home with us and served as lunch LOL-  

tonight we are meeting a new acquaintance at Osteria Langhe... we met her last week at TFL Next - she was our wine somm for the evening.  We got to discussing wine and thought it would be fun to get together in a more relaxed environment.... so we know the food is great at Osteria Langhe and the Tuesday trifecta a reasonable prixe fix menu seemed like the perfect choice for dinner with someone we barely know LOL.... more later on that evening.  Then on Wednesday we are headed way out west to a chef's kitchen dinner at Hanbun...

 more on that one too! stay tuned...