Have you noticed how restaurants come and go? They seem to have lives—like pets and people. Some live until they’re bent and wrinkled, others come and go almost before they’ve had a chance to squeeze through puberty. Even more fascinating is how certain restaurant locations seem to predispose longevity. We’ve all seen the perpetually changing cafes. You know: the funky little place down the street that instead of a mild facelift every few years, endures a complete identity makeover, morphing from Mexican cuisine, to Cajun, to hip pizzeria.
Well, there’s a tiny slot squeezed between Ves’s Broadway Bar and Jiffy Clean Laundry that has endured its share of seesaw makeovers. I first became aware of this doomed location back in 2010 when the joint morphed from the sad, smokey, iconic Kim’s Chinese Restaurant, to the fresh-faced Jeffrie’s Next Door. Chef Jeffrey jumped into this little opportunity to operate his own establishment after years of slaving for The Man. Jeffrey scrubbed, painted, purchased and proudly opened his modest but hip little eatery to mild fanfare and decent reviews. An unfortunate disagreement with his landlord ended his short reign. The site sat empty for a while. Then the Saladman moved in. Having spent years serving truck fare, this guy was relieved to have his feet on solid ground. I ate there once, assuming from the name that it might be light, figure-friendly food. It was not and I never went back. Next time I glanced over at this building—which I drive by quite routinely—I noticed a bright new sign beckoning hopefully from the dismal strip of old storefronts. Since the Saladman is still in business in another part of town, I can only surmise that tenant or location issues figured into his departure from my neighborhood.
K-Fusion Korean BBQ & Grill is generating lots of Facebook buzz. I walked over for a test run last week. Arriving at the tail end of the lunch rush, the place was fairly busy and quite loud. The room’s long, narrow dimensions leave few options for feasibly creating intimate spaces. A long, padded bench runs along one wall with deuce tables lined up in front of it. The chairs backs define the aisle from front door to kitchen. Tables for four line the opposite wall. The decor is black and subtle grey Asian chic.
Having little experience with Korean cuisine, I opted for the Spicy Pork Lunch Box which included the signature Korean stone grilled barbecued pork in spicy red sauce served over rice. This was delicious. The finely chopped tidbits of meat were succulent and fork-tender. My tray of food included a salad of fresh tender greens, drizzled with a light, poppy-seed vinaigrette that had the perfect blend of tart-sweet plus a small sampling of pickled veggie medley, or what I think of as Kimchee. As if all that wasn’t enough to send me home waddling, there was also a generous serving of Japchae which consists of glass noodles mixed with thinly sliced onions, carrots, mushrooms, eggs, and spinach, lightly sautéed in sesame oil and garlic. Little triangles of grilled Korean style savory pancakes, called Pajeon, were artfully drizzled with tangy teriyaki and mayo. All this delicious food for under $10. Yum!
I hope to enjoy many more meals at K-Fusion before its doomed location lures it, too, out of my ‘hood. K-Fusion proudly serves local and pasture-raised meat and has gluten-free and vegetarian items on the menu.K-Fusion Korean BBQ & Grill 1716 S Broadway Boise ID 83706 208 336-5959 firstname.lastname@example.org Monday – Saturday:
Lunch 11:30 am-02:30 pm Dinner 5:00 pm-9:00 pm Closed Sundays, Christmas & New Year’s Day
“I have no regular spinach this morning,” said the young man at the Purple Sage Farms produce stand at the Boise Farmer’s Market. “But, I do have Malabar spinach, if you’re interested,” he added quickly, directing my gaze to plastic bags, each filled with a stack of enormous green leaves.I was fascinated. They looked like some overgrown tropical thing, not like something that could thrive in this hot, dry climate. “Oh, they’re going nuts in my greenhouse,” he assured me. “They grow right up the wall supports!” he exclaimed, raising his arms in a mock gesture to grasp Jack’s beanstalk.
I’m a sucker for new things, so I bought a bag and placed it on the bottom shelf of my fridge where it intimidated me for a few days. He’d said I could cut it up into a salad or steam it like chard or spinach. He also recommended using it as a wrap. A little Malabar goes a long way in salad. It’s a substantial green with a fairly strong flavor. I worried that I’d never get through an 8 ounce bag of this stuff. Then I remembered the delicious ginger-lemongrass meatballs I’d made a few nights earlier and corralled in a Ziplog bag in the freezer. Then I looked at the chili-garlic sauce in the door of the fridge. Hmmm.I am now hooked! Malabar spinach makes wraps totally guilt-free!