After three years in Chelsea Market, Esther Choi will expand Mokbar with her first freestanding restaurant set to open Wednesday at 212 Flatbush Ave.
Choi likes the community surrounding the new location, especially as a contrast to her market stall. "Chelsea Market had a lot of tourists,” says Choi, “and this area of Brooklyn is more of a neighborhood.”
The 60-seat Mokbar Brooklyn will have a more ambitious menu than the original, which mainly sticks to soup, ramen, and anju, small plates often served at bars. It will also serve jip bap, which she describes as home cooking, or Korean soul food. A meal might center around fish, braised short ribs, or braised tofu served with rice and banchan —seasonal vegetables and kimchi.
Choi hopes to have a liquor license next month which will allow her to build a full bar. "We will have sojus from local brewers and we will use a lot of teas, pickles, and shrubs made in house,'' she says.
Korean flavor will also be seen in the desserts. Look for ice cream choices like toasted sesame and 17-grain.