Entering Hyun, a high-end Japanese and Korean barbecue, you will notice dark wood paneling on one side with jet black tables and grey banquettes on the other. Walk a bit deeper and there are booths for private gatherings. In the center of each table is an electric grill with vents concealed as lighting. Even with the vents the scent of expensive cuts of beef can be found wafting in the air. Each diner is required to order at least one type of beef with prices starting at $44 and up for six-ounce portions. If you are worried about costs this is not the place for you.
In fact, everything here comes at a price, even Banchon, the usually complementary side dishes often found at Korean restaurants. A note on the menu reads it is intended to reduce food waste and save the planet. We also paid $33 for three bite-size beef-wrapped dumplings filled with spicy Kimchi. Tasty but pricey.
The wait staff is exemplary. Our server, who was quite knowledgeable, began by bringing a deep cast iron pan to the table and slowly raising the temperature. I was told this is the best way to prepare Wagyu. A piece of beef fat is placed in the center with a sprig or rosemary and garlic clove. They begin to sizzle releasing their natural oils. The meat is seared on both sides sealing in the juices. A few minutes later it is sliced and propped up against the rosemary. Three different types of salt are provided; truffle, burgundy and sesame oil. Each adds a distinctive flavor to the gloriously prepared beef. We chose Chuck Flap, a cut I never had before which is well marbled and delicious. Other cuts including ribeye, striploin and flatiron are also on the menu, along with fresh sea urchin, marinated short rib and Sot-Bap a rice bowl topped with things like truffles and mushrooms.
Hyun is a great spot if you have cash to burn. Just be careful or you might find yourself spending an extra 30 dollars for a glass of wine.
Review By: Thomas Rafael