The most popular ZenKimchi picture on Flickr this year

For the past few years the soothsayers have predicted Korean food’s popularity, and now it is starting to come true. It hasn’t hit the world in the way the big promoters intended, but it’s happening. People are eating kimchi because they’ve developed a taste for it–not purely for its supposed health properties. Makkoli hasn’t hit it big outside of Japan, but soju is picking up, along with the dark horse bokbunja. More “big” Korean restaurants are popping up, and young chefs are modernizing the cuisine for the fine and casual dining public. And let’s not forget that Korean tacos led the way to this year’s biggest movement–gourmet food trucks.

At ZenKimchi, we’ve been following the trends, keeping up with print articles as well as web sites and even Twitter buzz. There has been a significant pick up this year. Let’s break it down, along with what’s happened in a very good year for Team ZenKimchi.













Memorable Meals and Drinks (in general)


  • 11 Madison Park (New York)
    • Foie gras cookie
    • Smoked trout custard
    • Duke’s Martini
    • The soft pork belly with a crispy roof of skin
    • Best service ANYWHERE
    • Wishing the Koreans at the next table a happy Chuseok in Korean
  • Namu (W Hotel)
    • Omakase sushi and that look on EJ’s mouth when she understood why we love food so much
  • Mystery Italian restaurant (New York)
    • The cheese plate with the illegal cheeses–my tongue still tingles, Elaine!

The Rest

In New York

  • 10 Downing
    • Roasted bone marrow
  • Bleecker St. Pizza
  • PDT
    • That bacon infused whiskey cocktail
  • Gray’s Papaya
    • I need that hot dog again
  • L’Ecole
    • By-the-book classic French and so satisfying
  • M. Wells Diner
    • Pickled pork tongue with mustard
    • Cuban sandwich
  • ma peche
    • Duck terrine banh mi
  • Ploy Thai
    • Intensely flavored–that dish that’s posted on their wall
  • The Pony Bar
    • Superfriends beer–so much hops it was like drinking a Christmas tree
    • Elaine’s observation: “Good looking people don’t really go to beer bars, do they?”
  • Ray’s Pizza next to Katz’s Deli
    • My savior on a drunken walk home

And elsewhere

Deceased Restaurants

Smith 先生

USO Canteen

Leo’s Deli

Uncle Don

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