One of the best New York meals I have had in a long time was at Her Name is Han.
Located on East 31st Street just off of Madison Avenue, this is Korean comfort food at its best. I literally sat down and aside from being famished, wanted to order every single thing on the menu. Don't be scared of Korean food...it's not as exotic as it reads and for those that have questions, the menu has a contemporary style with actual pictures of each dish. The menu boasts dumplings, ribs, mung bean pancakes, and FRIED CHICKEN.
Service was fantastic especially because we were one of the last tables of the evening. They treated us with warm, cordial hospitality letting us know when we had ordered too much, caring more about our experience than padding our bill to make that last bit of money for the night. Our server was knowledgeable and helped us to narrow down our ambitious appetite. The starters included; spicy salmon and cucumber noodles (GF), the boiled pork and cabbage dumplings, gochujan spare ribs, and the mung bean and pork pancake. It was a party in my mouth--for real. The spicy salmon had this beautiful balance of sweet, sour and heat with the cucumber noodle adding texture and a fantastic freshness. The dumplings...I mean, I don't know about you, but I've never met a dumpling I didn't like and these definitely didn't disappoint. The pancake was good and although I was not entirely sure of what a mung bean was, the thin crispy pork pancake with a little kimchi and soy sauce gave salt and savory a new meaning. The ribs we my least favorite but I think its because Im not a fan of saucy BBQ (I know, slowly loosing my African American card). Gochujan is a traditional Korean condiment that although not my jam, I can see how the tender meat falling off the bone bathed in this sauce would be delicious to some as the meat was cooked perfectly.
Next was the Fried Chicken (AA card redeemed!), and I have never had chicken like this. It was dipped in a batter that was flakey, delicate with juicy tender meat. This dish had just enough salt and the pickled radish helped to clean the palette, all while encouraging you to take another bite. The chicken was crispy at first bite and melted in your mouth as you chewed, creating the perfect balance of texture. I kid you not this chicken is one for the books.
My dinner at Her Name is Han was memorable. The best part is, I want to go back not to have exactly what I had my last visit, but to eat all the other items I didn't get to. That's what makes a restaurant stand out. I have several favorite places where I got to get the pasta, or the steak frites, or the sticky toffee pudding or whatever standout dish they are known for. But it is not often I am dying to go back because I want to try everything else.
Not sure who Han is, but can I please meet her and say Thank You?
<3 Love, Camille...
PS Sorry this sounds like a YELP review, but I had to tell you about Han and her chicken!