8282 is a Lower East Side gem that should be on many people’s list of restaurants to visit. Located on 84 Stanton Street, 8282 is elevating modern Korean cuisine while keeping things fun, playful and hip. The restaurant is owned by Chef Bong Le Jo(Perry Street, Dovetail and Kissaki), and his partner Jee Kim, who previously owned Pado. Named for South Korea’s area code +82, and a phrase that when translated means “quickly” as a testament to their “get-it-done” attitude, the affianced couple devised the restaurant to keep up with culinary trends in Seoul, tweaking them with a New York lens. To help in this mission and retain the cuisine’s authenticity, Kim makes frequent trips to Seoul.
The menu is divided into two categories: small plates called Anju, which means food you eat with alcohol in Korean, and larger shared plates named Banju, meaning alcohol paired with good food. To complement the appropriately named menu sections, Jo and Kim have launched a premium Soju and cocktail program.
We started our meal off with some drinks. I saw an Old Fashioned on the menu and I simply had to try it! My drink of choice was the Jeju Old Fashioned (Suntory whiskey, Korean orange (hallabong) syrup, orange bitters, lemon) and I truly enjoyed the emphasis on the orange flavors so much I ended up ordering two (responsibly, of course). My guest enjoyed the Yuzu Matcha Magic (Slightly sweetened matcha, soju, lemon, yuzu, topped with salt). It was a pretty tasty drink and honestly, there isn’t much that matcha doesn’t go well with. This was a good choice on her part.
We wanted to try some of the smaller plates so we ordered the Tuna Tartare + Kim Bukak (Bluefin tuna, sesame oil aioli, served with fried seaweed chips topped with egg custard) and the Boneless K.F.C. (Fried chicken thigh with Korean soy garlic sauce, served with pickled radish noodles). The Boneless K.F.C. was without a doubt the second best dish of the meal. The chicken was tender and flavorful and the Korean soy garlic sauce gave it a unique and delicious taste. This is definitely one of the best dishes on the menu. The Tuna Tartare dish should not be overlooked. The fired seaweed chips had a pork rindy texture to them and paired perfectly with the bluefin tuna. It was a nice, light bite that could fit as a nice snack if you still want something tasty from the menu but aren’t particularly hungry.
For our main courses (larger plates), my guest enjoyed the Seafood Bibim Myun (Botan ebi shrimp, snow crab, Korean pickled cucumbers, shiso, sour plum puree, citrus gochugaru vinaigrette over Korean rice noodles) and I had to try the 8282 Petite Tender Steak (grilled steak with sweet potato fondant, cream corn). I tried some of the snow crab from the Bibim Myun and it was definitely flavorful but I was saving my palette for the steak, which was cooked to perfection and severed with a side of French fries (the cream corn was nowhere to be found but that’s ok) and ketchup, pesto and a sweet cream cheese of sorts for dipping. THIS truly has to be the best thing on the menu. For dessert, we share a serving of 8282’s Injeolmi Ice Cream (Vanilla ice cream, Korean multi-grain, honey, parmesan cheese). Now, if you’ve read any of my reviews you’d know I’m really not a dessert guy but the blend of the parmesan cheese and vanilla ice cream is something that has to be experienced!
I truly loved my dining experience at 8282 and the location is prime for after-dinner shenanigans or a nice walk through the Lower East Side. If you are in the mode for top-self Korean cuisine, you’ll be doing yourself a disservice not stopping by. eightwoeightwo.com