naemo is the newest korean pop-up from two nyc restaurant vets. ki kim was most recently the sous chef at blanca and arnold byun has been the maitre d’ at atomix, bouley, and emp.
i was really impressed with their first effort in LA. everything from the slick packaging, presentation, chopsticks, hospitality, and of course the taste was terrific.
each dish was packed with flavor, refined and executed with fine dining technique perfectly. the only misstep was the eggplant was too heavily seasoned that it overwhelmed the palate. i let them know and they were very nice about it and said it would be corrected tomorrow.
seasonal farmers’ rice - 농부의 덮밥
mixed grain rice (koshihikari, brown, forbidden). steamed turnips, braised lotus roots, sliced radish, egg omelette, gim, sesame leaf, perilla oil.
really liked the gim scattered over the rice to gave this delicious rice box a punch of umami.
seasonal farmers’ soup - 농부의 국
deonjang, turnip stems, shiitake mushrooms, shrimp dashi, soft tofu, scallions.
banchan box hot
mary’s chicken mandoo - 맛있는 치킨윙
mary’s free-range chicken wing, pork belly and chive filling, ganjang glaze.
a chicken wing stuffed with pork belly, enough said. highlight.
make sure to reheat this in the microwave to get it piping hot.
wagyu japchae - 와규잡채
korean glass noodles, american wagyu flatiron cut, carrots and onions.
incredibly beefy with delicious slippery glass noodles.
sns jeon - 굴과 호박전
round zucchini squash and shrimp pancakes, chives, brown butter, lime wedge
the most refined and delicious jeon i’ve ever had.
cali leeks - 도래미 ‘파’ 구이
charred leeks, sunflower seed oil, candied almonds, bossam aioli
even more flavor, not sure what was in the bossams aioli but it was delicous.
banchan box cold
yellowtail hwe - 겨울방어
2 days dry-aged yellowtail, wasabi, truffle salt, gim puree, kimchi
another dish packed with flavor, i didn’t even mind the truffle salt.
mushroom namul with uni - 버섯 나물과 우니
shiitake mushrooms, oyster mushrooms, enoki mushrooms, maitake mushrooms, santa barbara uni
mushrooms were great, juicy and tender. even better with the super fresh uni.
acorn jelly salad - 도토리 샐러드
homemade acorn jelly, soy vinaigrette, evo, long sword leaves, chrysanthemum, kiku flowers, seasonal herbs
a nice refreshing palate cleanser.
eggplant twigim with chili - 매콤가지
homemade chili condiment with korean peppers, citrus lace, black sesame
i was impressed how crispy and juicy the eggplant was after the drive home. this had a bit too much numbing spice though and it reminded me of chongqing chicken. i wiped some of the spice off and saved it for last and it was perfect.