All photos courtesy of Dina Avila
That didn't take long.
About six weeks after shutting Common Law at Pine Street Market, restaurateur Earl Ninsom (Langbaan, Hat Yai) has transformed his old marketplace digs and partnered up with a pair of industry ringers—Kim Jong Grillin's Han Ly Hwang and Smokehouse Tavern's BJ Smith—to open Kim Jong Smokehouse.
The American South-South Korea mashup will serve just two dishes—bibimbap and steamed buns—but they'll come in a variety of flavors and textures.
The bibimbap comes with rice, japchae, sesame spouts, two different kinds of kimchi, your choice of sauce, and your choice of smoked meats and vegetables. Options include kalbi short rib, cured salmon, pulled pork, honey gochujang chicken and king oyster mushrooms.
The buns come in only one meat flavor—pulled pork—but they're augmented by scallion bon chan and your choice of sauce. Think Smokehouse Tavern mustard, gochujang, kimchi mayo, or smoked kimchi.
Smith says Ninsom approached him and Hwang separately, but when the three restaurateurs got together, they decided that three heads together were better than two.
"And Asian barbecue and American barbecue just makes sense," Hwang says.
The trio has spent the last few weeks test driving dishes at the Tavern, smoking everything with white oak.
Hwang and Smith say their slim menu has been designed for a quick grab-and-go lunchers darting in and out of the market, but the space also has seating for about 20, where guests can leisurely enjoy their buns and bibimbap while sipping on one of three draft beers and ciders underneath a cut-out tiger mural designed by artist Ashley Montague.
Look for delivery options to roll out in the next couple of weeks.
Kim Jong Smokehouse: 126 SE Second Ave.; Hours 11a.m. to 10 p.m. Sunday through Thursday, and 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. on Fridays and Saturdays