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85 Very Good

Chef Hooni Kim serves his beloved Danji cooking in Chelsea at this Korean spot.

36 W. 26th St., New York, NY, 10010



Reserve on OpenTable

Known For

The lowdown

Hanjan is the talented Hooni Kim’s big-city homage to the old travelers’ taverns of Korea, called joomaks, which in style and atmosphere resemble the gastropubs of England and the old-fashioned izakayas of rural Japan. As at his fine uptown restaurant, Danji, the bare-bones, deceptively simple small-plates menu here is divided into columns ( “Traditional,” “Modern,” and “Skewers”), although the food has a heavier, more rustic, more classically Korean feel to it, and many of the dishes — the barbecue skewers threaded with chicken hearts or sizzling strips of gizzard, sticky ddukbokki (rice cakes) tossed in pork fat, vats of viscous, spicy cod-roe stew — are designed to be consumed at the bar, in a spicy lather, with copious amounts of sake, soju, and bottles of cold beer. Pay attention to Kim’s elevated versions of old favorites, like tong-dak fried chicken, the fried-rice bokkeum bap (mixed with chunks of chopped brisket), and the classic scallion-and-squid pajeon pancake, which has a lightness and texture to it here that’s as different from your sodden, run-of-the-mill pajeon as a fresh-baked apple pie is from a frozen version by Sara Lee.

Adam Platt

What you need to know

Insider Tips Skip dessert

Recommended DishesKorean spicy ramyun available after 9 p.m. (in 12-hour broth); Korean homestyle dinner tasting menu ($48 per person).

DrinksFull Bar, Sake/Soju

Noise LevelCivilized