A Korean restaurant has received a star rating on the Michelin Guide for the first time. The prestigious guide gave one star out of a maximum of three to "Danji," a restaurant in Manhattan run by Korean-American Hooni Kim, in its New York edition, which hit book stores on Wednesday.
Previously, the only Korea restaurant to appear on the guide's radar was Sorabol in Hong Kong, which received a fork rating one notch below a star rating.
Danji is exclusive and only has enough seating for 36 people. It was praised earlier by the New York Times as offering "only joy" and has become popular with long waiting lines a common sight.
Another distinctive feature of the sophisticated eatery is that it is not located on 32nd and Broadway amid the main cluster of Korean restaurants, but in Hell's Kitchen further along the west side where locals tend to head.
The menu is divided between traditional and modern Korean offerings. The traditional items include "bossam," or meat and kimchi wrapped in lettuce, and "pajeon," or vegetable and seafood pancakes, among other popular dishes. More modern variants include the "bulgogi slider" sandwich, a kind of fusion of Korean and American cuisine.
Kim was born in Seoul and moved to the U.S. when he was 10. He quit medical school in California to become a chef after studying at a French cooking school in New York while taking a year off due to health problems. After graduating from the culinary school, he worked at the famed Manhattan eatery "Daniel," which won three stars on the Michelin Guide.
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