Friday, May 16, 2008

Bann at Worldwide Plaza

Two and a half years old, Bann prides itself on its so-called progressive Korean cuisine. Like its website, the restaurant is self-consciously chic, but the smiling and helpful servers soften the edges of the hard trendiness. It does not hurt that the men, Asian and Caucasian, are young and good-looking, a lure for the neighborhood, perhaps, though the clientele was mostly straight and corporate both times I was there.

The slightly hidden entrances leads into a sleek lounge area, watered by a hand crafted copper bar. Further in, the dining area is lit warmly. Yesterday, the evening light floated in through the tall windows. The tables are solid dark wood. The privacy curtains separating the tables are curiously flimsy.

Immaculate Buns gave our server detailed instructions on how he liked his martini. He told us a funny story about his visit to his dermatologist, and thus his name. He liked the place, as The Quarterback had suspected. The winelist, printed on a hand-sewn scroll, is extensive: about five whites and five reds from each wine region of the world. We liked our Italian wine well enough when it came. This morning I cannot remember what it was. It was not the Brunello, which they did not have.

The food was delicious. The meat of the baby pork ribs appetizer slid off the bone. The eel cooked on hot stones embedded in a tray of salt. I had the the beef rib glazed with a sake ginger soy sauce, and accompanied by pumpkin, shitake and Asian broccoli. The Quarterback enjoyed the Bi Bim Bap crisped in a stone pot. The only disappointment was the boring barbecued meat.

The Headhunter's all-purpose 5-point scale:
Atmosphere: ****
Food: ****1/2
Value: ***
Service: ****1/2

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