Did you know danji is the Korean word for a clay pot? ‘Tis. Look around the elongated space of the airy restaurant and you will see them.
Carrie is the waitress manning lunch hour while I eat at the bar. She tells me to come for dinner (“Try the bossum.“) as these are the dishes that were rated for the Michelin star. She also says that she grew up in Korea, where her grandmother buried danji filled with soy sauce and kimchi to keep them cold as there was no available refrigeration.
Danji opened in December 2010. Prior to opening the restaurant, Hooni Kim, the chef/owner of Danji and Hanjan, once did Korean-style tapas for the Korean Society out of a food truck, serving sliders as finger food.
All of the interior design harkens back to traditional Korean decoration and design. The black wall in the back of the restaurant mimics a Korean rooftop. In the bathroom, there are Korean performance masks.
In just the half-hour since noontime, there are already 3 to 4 takeout orders of vegetable bimbimbap. Barclays is nearby and many of its employees come here for takeout.
As you can see, I ordered the pork bimbimbap, which is a deconstructed assemblage of marinated vegetables (usually zucchini, shitakes, spinach, bean sprouts, and carrots) accompanied by a small portion of stir-fried meat, pan-fried egg, steamed white rice, and Korean hot sauce.
The chicken wings are also popular, as are the sliders, since they are Korean versions of common American foods such as hamburgers and fried chicken.
Overall, the food was cleanly prepared but lacked in traditional Korean food authenticity. Where was the panchan or the bori cha? I’ll have to come back to try the bossum.