There is no hotter trend right now than the build-your-own bowl, which lets you pick your own base, protein, toppings, and dressings — it’s perfect for picky and healthy eaters alike.
Well, this spring, Boston added Kimchipapi Kitchen to the list of in-demand, fast-casual spots for all your burrito, bowl, salad, and falafel needs. But Joon Son, the Kimchipapi himself, makes sure there’s no mistaking his Korean/Japanese restaurant with the mainstream build-your-own brands that occupy the space.
Kimchipapi Kitchen, set up on 81 Harvard Ave, fully embraces the unabashed, unapologetic attitude of Allston, or Rat City, as it is affectionately dubbed by its locals. From the unconventional addition of k’s to Son’s menu items (order kimchipapi pankakes from the kravings menu), as well as noodle-themed wall art cheekily beckoning you to “Send Noodz”, it’s clear that Son is not playing by anyone else’s rules.
But Kimchipapi Kitchen doesn’t just rely on shock and awe. It has really good food. The menu kicks off with appetizers (called kravings) which boast some universal favorites like truffle fries (dem truffle fries) and introduce some Korean flair with the Kimchipapi Pankake. Son also pays homage to Japan with takoyaki, which are fried octopus bites topped with okonomi sauce. But all of these kravings are just warm-ups to the main event — the Glory Bowl.
For the Glory
To kreate your perfect Glory Bowl—yes, you read that right—you start off by picking your base, choosing from sushi rice, or healthier options like mixed greens or kale noodz. There are options for vegans, vegetarians, and omnivores alike to fit in their meal’s worth of protein, with options from raw tuna to tofu to braised chicken. Next, pack zesty punches of flavor by choosing from sauce options, and to load up on texture, pile your bowl high with banchan (Korean for sides) and other toppings. From there, all that’s left for you to do is sit back, Instagram your beautiful kreation, and dig in!
While Kimchipapi Kitchen has only debuted with a soft-opening so far, stay tuned for their grand opening, and new additions to their menu — like the recently added sushi burrito, dubbed “just wrap it up b.” To keep tabs on Kimchipapi Kitchen and the genius behind it, follow Kimchipapi Kitchen at @kimchipapiktchn, and Joon Son at @kimchipapi617, and grab a Glory Bowl for yourself!