Edward Kim’s adventurous ode to a night market somewhere between Bangkok and Seoul—and follow-up to Ruxbin, his beloved BYO down the street—wins the award for this year’s most idiosyncratic opening. Crab brain fried rice? Kimchi empanadas with Oaxaca cheese? A fish head with black bean sauce for $250 that feeds six? Cocktails incorporating boba (tapioca pearls) or Malört? They’re all here.
Bold flavors and ideas bounce all over the sunny room in the most unpredictable ways, an exciting exploit when it really comes together. As it does in the inspired reinterpretation of the Hangtown Fry, a fluffy, hoisin-trickled omelet with fried oysters and pickled mushrooms over a crisp noodle pancake: Old West meets Far East in Wicker Park. Mott St. shares little common ground with Ruxbin, unless you count happy customers.
Perfect for: Those in search of verve on the plate and a party vibe in the air