Restaurant Reviews

The Rabbit Hole

Dish of food from the Rabbit Hole, midwestern korean cuisine
Photos by Katherine Harris

“One of the things I like about the pojangmachas is that everyone seems to end up there: CEOs, university students,” explained Kim when I spoke to him on the phone for this story. “First and foremost, I don’t even consider myself a chef; if anything, I am a glorified cook. I consider my job the service industry. I’m here to make people feel welcome and happy. So to start, we were going for comfort food, because no matter how we slice it, we are in the Midwest, and we have embraced that. We made sure a lot of our dishes were things people would be able to relate to in their daily routine and cuisine. I never wanted people to be pushed so far out of their style of dining that they feel alienated.”

To that end Kim also gave a lot of thought to how guests might use Rabbit Hole. There’s the bar, a number of large private booths that seat four to 12 people, and then chef-counter bench seats for two—for intimate special-occasion date nights.

When I asked Kim about the surprisingly conservative bent of Rabbit Hole, he told me to wait for the next phase. By springtime the Rabbit Hole hopes to be serving brunch, and then Kim hopes to use some of his newfound bar favorites in unexpected ways—bokbunja bourbon syrup French toast, perhaps? And when trust grows with a bigger customer base, Kim tells me, I may regret that I wanted more adventure. Why? Well, first we need to get this trust-building process done, so please know and please tell all your friends that the Rabbit Hole is a very hip sort of Korean-inflected Modern Cafe with a great bar.

When the trust is built, he may start taking more risks, for instance, by bringing out the notorious Korean snack of beondegi, or silkworm larvae. “I marinate them in soy, so you get that tang and saltiness, but then when you chew the larvae you get this sweet and nutty aftertaste. With whiskey it’s a really cool pairing.” Really? If you say so chef.

One thing is assured, if Rabbit Hole puts larvae on the menu it’ll get written about coast to coast, so you might want to get in there first so you can say it’s been your comfort-food burger joint for ages and ages already, just your regular Minneapolis pojangmacha with the epic French fries and indescribable cocktails and your dad’s favorite short ribs. 920 E. Lake St., Mpls., 612-236-4526,