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Umi Nom in Brooklyn, NY

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.

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Watermelon & Pickled Green Papaya Salad

Nothing else reminds me more of summertime than a fruit salad.  Chef Cedric Tovar’s watermelon and pickled green papaya salad is like taking a dip in the pool on a hot summer’s day.  Refreshingly sweet watermelon is paired with tangy pickled green papaya and is all tied together with a splash of WorldFoods Coconut and Lime Dressing to create a chorus of sweet, salty, and sour flavors that sing in your mouth.  Cedric made this at the launch party for World to Table, and it was so good I decided to make it again myself.

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