Yangban likes a strong pivot. Since opening in 2021, this Arts District spot has reinvented itself two (three?) times, with each iteration inching closer to the upscale Korean-American restaurant it is today. And while we’ll miss its casual deli-style menu or walking in with friends to eat chicken wings all night, this sleek a la carte spot is the most interesting Yangban to date.
The bright interior is now dark and brooding with a fresh coat of black paint, a few charred trees as decor, and dangling lanterns that look like crumpled pieces of paper. Even with all that change, several Ghosts of Yangbans Past remain on the menu: the life-changing soy-garlic wings, the creamy smoked trout dip with big lumps of fish, and the tangy buffalo milk soft serve that slides down our esophagus like a silk cloud. Still, this is technically a new restaurant, and it’s working out some kinks (several dishes tasted underseasoned). We’ll be back to check in soon.