- 1239 West 18th Street
- Korean contemporary
It took chef Stephen Gillanders 30 tries to get the wrapper for his Maine lobster gyoza exactly the way he wanted it. The end result is sublime: wispy-thin wonton sheets that are somehow still sturdy enough to envelop hefty chunks of sweet lobster, yet tender enough to cave under gentle pressure when you bite into them. Gillanders uses Korean fare as a starting point—his wife, whose initials give the restaurant (which opened in 2017) its name, is Korean—and molds and manipulates the cuisine in engaging new ways. His dol sot bibimbap, served in the traditional hot stone bowl to give the rice extra chew and crunch, comes not with a fried egg but a lobe of perfectly seared foie gras, which melts into lusty decadence when you mix it in. It’s the kind of thoughtful boundary-pushing you can expect from everything at this off-the-beaten-path ingenue.