Chef Susan Kim was looking to bring doshirak, or Korean boxed lunches, to the states after being inspired by a trip to Korea, but with her own flair. Kim was thinking about the concept before the pandemic, she told Thrillist, ultimately launching her pop-up Doshi in August 2020. The speciality is non-traditional takes on the packaged meals, inspired by the food she grew up eating and using her background of cooking in the kitchens of Chez Panisse and New York-based restaurants Agern and Insa. Now Kim is the latest to take over Turntable at Lord Stanley, bringing her Korean food-focused pop-up to San Francisco for the month of November.
It’s a homecoming of sorts for Kim, who was born in Seoul and grew up in California, but who now resides in New York. Kim first worked in the restaurant world hosting and waiting tables in college, before becoming involved in the operations side of restaurants while in Los Angeles; she wanted to make the move into cooking and, despite some discouragement of that notion from friends and family. She did it anyway and eventually landed at Chez Panisse, first as garde manger, later running the grill station. Kim credits the Berkeley restaurant as being “foundational” to her cooking approach.
Kim’s approach is to make a meal she hopes “will feel like opening a gift” — “I consider it an enormous privilege to feed people,” Kim said in an announcement for the Turntable pop-up. “The actual gesture of taking something from your hand and putting it in someone else’s mouth is extremely intimate.” At Lord Stanley, there will be both a full tasting menu available for $125, and a petit menu for $70, as well as “Doshi Box” options meant for takeout. Expect dishes such as raw halibut in a chilled soybean broth and watercress; seared tteok, or rice cakes, with halloumi cheese, jammy egg, and brown butter gochu; or sundae blood sausage served with chanterelle gravy and gluten-free short-grain rice and sweet potato noodles.
Meanwhile, the to-go Doshi Box branches off in its own way, with a number of fermented and pickled items to-go alongside a main dish of either marinated tofu for a vegetarian option, or a marinated skirt steak with anchovy crumble for a meatier box. Both will come with sesame oil pickles, potato salad, Napa cabbage kimchi, braised namu greens, and a pine nut and tofu dressing. Kim’s residency begins November 2 through December 3, and both reservations and takeaway can be arranged via Tock; meanwhile to-go orders can also be made through the hot pink window on Broadway between 12 p.m. to 9 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday.