Last Thursday, I went to King Phojanakong’s new Brooklyn restaurant Umi Nom for a friends and family night to try some of King’s new dishes before it officially opens to the public. Occupying a space that was previously a laundromat, the restaurant is hidden amongst small local Mexican eateries and modest neighborhood bodegas. You have to be willing to walk a little further (up the stairs in the case of Kuma Inn, or on the subway for Umi Nom) to get a taste of King’s food, which takes a tapas-style approach to dining, but it’s worth the few extra steps.
Umi Nom is a long, narrow restaurant, with a dark wood bar, exposed brick walls, and Edison light bulbs hanging from the ceiling. Some of the Asian-themed design accents in the restaurant include the funky bamboo lighting above the bar and white ceramic wall decorations with small dotted lights running through what resembled the cross-section of bamboo.