Zingerman’s newest venture – Miss Kim

. March 31, 2017.
Miss-Kim-Ann-Arbor-Zingermans

White-painted brick walls, soft lighting, crisp linen tablecloths covering deep brown wood tables: The Miss Kim design scheme seems purposely designed to prevent distraction from the kaleidoscope of color and flavor on your plate. This sit-down expansion of a food cart, the newest Zingerman’s restaurant, had a soft opening in Kerrytown last December. Now thriving on a recent Saturday night, a mixed crowd filled the tightly packed tables while others waited for the next open spot.

The menu, devised by managing partner Ji Hye (pronounced “gee-hey”) Kim, draws on memories of the foods her grandmother and mother made in Korea. We skipped the appetizers (oysters, crudités, and edamame) in favor of a small plate of handmade steamed buns filled with savory mushrooms. Our teeth sank through pillowy exteriors into shiitakes sliced wafer thin, seared to golden perfection. A kale and spicy green salad, garnished with peanuts and pickled watermelon radish, sparkled in a dressing that nicely balanced sweet and tart.

Korean comfort

For the main, we split the recommended stone bowl bibimbob. The heat of the bowl sizzles the rice to a golden crust, which arrives topped with more of those lovely mushrooms and strips of tender beef, tender-crisp marinated cucumbers, sweet crunchy bean sprouts, and some blanched spinach that tasted as if it had been harvested that afternoon. A barely warmed egg yolk sat centered, ready to break and swirl with the stainless steel chopsticks provided to every diner (forks available on request). The only misstep was a pile of tough, woody burdock strips (similar to a parsnip), which could have benefitted from a sliver cut—or, perhaps, could simply be left out of the bowl.

Miss Kim has a no-tip policy, and the staff is relaxed—they’re not worried about upselling you—and clearly collaborative. If it’s a Zingerman’s trend to pay wait staff a living wage and abolish tipping, we applaud it and hope it spreads citywide. Wines, beers, and cocktails are available, though we loved the ginger tea. Since desserts aren’t intrinsic to Korean cuisine but are loved by Michiganders, there’s a selection of incongruous choices from the Zing’s bakery a block away. But—Pavlova? I found myself wondering what the kitchen could do with simple fresh fruit, as artfully arranged as the rest of the offerings on the menu.

You will dine elbow to elbow; be prepared to eavesdrop on the next table’s conversation, whether you want to or not. Plan on $30 per person without drinks, and $40 and up with. For food prepared this thoughtfully, in an atmosphere both laid-back and energetic, it’s an excellent value.

Miss Kim
415 N 5th Ave, Ann Arbor
(entrance through Kerrytown or from East Kingsley)
734-275-0099 | 
misskimannarbor.com
Tues-Sat 5pm-10pm, Sun 5pm-9pm
Reservations only for 6 or more

Trending

Thanksgiving Eve

Your guide to the night before Thanksgiving in Ann Arbor and Ypsi

Mini Moog Fest at AADL

Two things from the get go: First: Your library can be (and always has been) a reliable source of cultural programming that can enrich the community. That can be author talks, it can be craft activities for kids, but it can ALSO engage the local music scene in very interesting ways…What I mean is, the

Discussing the Documentary Art Form with Local Filmmaker Scott Allen

Ann Arbor based filmmaker’s latest documentary features Michigan musician/horror novelist   Scott Allen spent a dozen years in the music scene, primarily with post-punk quartet Thunderbirds Are Now….but now…he’s getting into film. Documentary film, specifically. A Livonia native, Allen moved to Ann Arbor seven years ago to work for Automobile Magazine. While this fatefully aligned

Grove Studios Update

Local musician Rick Coughlin founded Grove Studios in late 2016 with the goal of establishing it as a community space for musicians—by musicians! The Grove team’s idea, with an architectural vision of Breck Crandell, was for a compound of individual artists’ rehearsal spaces comprised of a fleet of shipping containers. Coughlin’s efforts have been aided by the