Plan Check Kitchen + Bar executive chef Ernesto Uchimura creates site-specific signature dishes for each location. At the Little Osaka original, look for Rare Grilled Albacore Tuna with tempura rock shrimp, flaked wasabi, citron tartar sauce, grilled cucumber, and shaved cured bonito. On Fairfax, long a bastion for Jewish culture, he opted for Salmon Pastrami with green peppercorns, everything bagel chip, inky cream cheese, brined celery, and borage. At the industrial chic downtown location he opened with Terry Heller, which resides down Wilshire Boulevard from Koreatown, Chef Uchimura crafted a K-BBQ Burger.
During Friday’s Friends & Family service, Chef Uchimura rolled out his K-BBQ Burger ($14) in earnest. Yes, he’s been known to focus on other meats, but the base of this burger was classic: a coarse, juicy beef patty. During a round of golf with his friends from Seoul Sausage, they cooked up the idea of kimcheese (kimchi cheese). Yes, it’s a great pun, and packed some punch by combining molten Gruyere cheese processed with wine and dried kimchi. Next came a strip of griddled pork belly, which reminded me of the kind of unadulterated un-marinated, un-cured pork that you’d find on a K-Town tabletop grill. A thatch of crispy fried onions, Gouchujang barbeque sauce, crunchy sprouting onion and sesame salt completed the savory picture in a soft, panko-lined bun, which arrived, like most things do at Plan Check, in a cast-iron skillet.