This week, just one new review from the city's restaurant critics: Seattle magazine's Jessica Yadegaran on Steven Han's Korean steakhouse Girin. Though Han has built a name on his work in Japanese restaurants Momiji, Kushibar, and Umi Sake House, Yadegaran says you can hardly tell this is his first go (or chef Brandon Kirksey's) at professional Korean fare, the cuisine of Han's roots.
Yadegaran's only complaints were that service felt somewhat rushed for the concept, and the massive dining room felt like it engulfed her party a bit. "[T]he real pedestals for proteins, including melt-in-your-mouth, kalbi-marinated short ribs ($36) and juicy grilled pork loin ($28), are the ssam plates: generous platters of leafy greens and pickled or fermented veggies that you use to build wraps and top with banchan, complimentary side dishes (we inhaled the honey- and almond-flecked dried anchovies). By making ssams the centerpiece of its menu, Girin is celebrating the long, slow, feast-like tempo that characterizes traditional dining in Korea. I found it ironic, then, that service, even early in the evening and in an empty restaurant, was swift. What was the rush?"