The Sophisticated Eater is fun, authentic, and well-traveled. The Sophisticated Eater absolutely has a discerning palate and will not settle for anything less than incredible (the nose knows!) and will definitely drive that extra hour if it means a better meal. Definitely has at least one "hip" allergy - gluten, dairy, soy - and therefore relishes in finding high quality meals done right.
The SE is so happy this place exists. In the SE's eyes, there are a few things a restaurant can do to immediately establish a line of trust with eaters and Kuun has managed to tick the box on all of these. Modern decor and bright, airy, seating. A clean and organized runner station. Meticulous tabletop arrangements that invite you to sit down and dine. Individually wrapped utensils and delicate paper covers on the drinking glasses. This kind of attention to detail in front-of-house presentation usually translates to the preparation of food, and so The SE immediately trusted that whatever came out of their kitchen was going to be amazing.
As mentioned, Kuun is aesthetically pleasing with beautiful, clean lines and just generally....CLEAN. There are no other words. And details, details, details - glasses facing down, individually wrapped sets of utensils, masks on. Menu's arrived at the table and it became immediately evident that The SE would be failing the stand-up test. The SE pre-emptively loosened a pants button. The SE has never seen kimbap on a restaurant menu before (kimbap is usually best made fresh at home) and so of course, this had to be ordered along with a cadre of the usual suspects - mandu, kimchi pajeon, bulgogi plus the wildcard kimchi fried rice. On a whim, The SE also decided to go for a non-alcoholic sparkling ginger lemonade.
Being the only diners in Kuun at this awkward post-lunch but pre-dinner hour, The SE's order arrived post-haste. Kuun's proprietor proudly delivered the mandu and kimbap to the table and announced that the accompanying soy sauce was homemade in house. HOMEMADE IN HOUSE. The mandu did not at first look like anything special, but were soon revealed to be well-seasoned and juicy. The kimbap were the perfect bite-sized palate whetter, made with fresh rice and in very scientific terms, definitively "not fishy" as can sometimes be the downfall of kimbap (in the SE's opinion).
Would you, my fellow SE's, be surprised if I told you the pajeon and bulgogi were also top-notch, A+ dishes? The pajeon, which can sometimes turn into a flavorless, mushy mess, was crunchy on the outside and chewy on the inside. The flavors of the incorporate kimchi and scallions were crunchy and distinct from the pancake. The bulgogi was delicately seasoned, somehow striking the perfect balance between sweet, salty, and juicy, and achievement which is very hard to achieve. Also....the meat was tender and easy to chew (The SE's #1 requirement for eating meat).
The Sparkling Ginger Lemonade proved to be the perfect companion to this bold meal, balancing the spice of the kimchi with a bubbly, minty-sweet-sour.
The meal was over too soon, and the proprietor was thanked profusely for a lovely meal. The SE stepped out into the frenzied, anxiety-ridden activity of the busy Brooklyn street, and looked back at the quiet tranquility of Kuun. Small but mighty, indeed.
Non-alcoholic Sparkling Ginger Lemonade
Kimchi Fried Rice with Bulgogi
Kuun is open daily from 11:30am - 10:30pm (Monday - Sunday) at 290 Livingston Street. Indoor and outdoor seating available.