Day: January 10th, 2007

Bebop and BiBimBop

Wednesday, January 10th, 2007 | All Things, Eats, Friends, Music

Wednesday night at the Samsung Experience. The expansive blue-lit space, located on the third floor of the Time Warner Center, is designed exclusively as a showcase for Samsung technology. None of the products are actually available for purchase, so it is decidedly not a store — more like a 10,000 square foot interactive commercial for the brand. Interesting concept. Different areas on the floor offer users the opportunity to test out Samsung products in varied settings, e.g., bedroom, office, lounge. Staff is available to answer questions or provide demonstrations of the cool products, some of which are not even (or not yet) available in the United States.

I’ve always been fascinated by the horizontal maps of Manhattan installed just outside of the Samsung Experience, where users can navigate the island by neighborhood, interfacing with the broad screens via hand gestures, Minority Report-style.

I’ll have to come back to explore this gadget geek’s paradise in greater depth, but tonight I was there for the jazz series concert sponsored by Jazz at Lincoln Center. The evening included light bites and cocktails, and a brief lecture on the evolution of Bebop by jazz historian (and Swing University professor) Phil Schaap.

Samsung Experience

Performing tonight: JALC Orchestra alto saxophonist Sherman Irby and his trio. I was impressed by their prodigious renditions of “I’m in the Mood for Love” and Dizzy Gillespie’s “A Night in Tunisia” — those were the two pieces I recognized, anyway.

Sherman Irby Trio

As the show was wrapping up, I slipped out to meet SC, JG, A and D for an impromptu late dinner in Koreatown. Furthering our goal to eat our way across the 32nd Street restaurants to determine K-town supremacy, we met at perennially popular Kunjip, which translates to “big house” in Korean. (Actually, though, it’s one of the smaller, less obtrusive restaurants on the neon-lit row.) The complimentary panchan (small side dishes) included the usual array of kimchi, pickled radishes and vegetables, dried anchovies and tofu, plus a steamed egg dish that was served piping hot in a porcelain bowl, like a soft and salty custard, topped with slivers of scallion. It was the first time I’d been served this particular dish in a Korean restaurant, although Chinese jing don and Japanese chawanmushi compare very similarly. SC and I spied a couple of interesting-looking dishes on other diners’ tables, but for the most part our group stuck to the basics — kimchi pajun, soon dubu, jap chae, bibimbop, ssam… carefully steering (mostly) clear of pork and seafood per our new friends’ requests.

Kunjip’s jap chae may be my favorite so far, but I still prefer the soon dubu at Seoul Garden.


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