Rabbit Hole

How is the Midtown Global Market going to balance its books? Start by looking down The Rabbit Hole. The new eatery is one of the small-business incubator’s success stories, born out of a hip Korean-fusion food stand, the Left Handed Cook, which moved into a larger full-service restaurant space last fall. 

The Rabbit Hole has three things that most MGM tenants lack: hip buzz, a nightlife vibe, and a full liquor license. Its size and scale allow owners Thomas Kim and Kat Melgaard the opportunity to generate more revenue, not to mention the clientele’s ability to knock back a couple of Not Doin’ Jack in the Mornings (a chest-hair-sprouting blend of Jack Daniels, Fernet Branca, and Aperol). 

The space feels more sedate than Alice’s Wonderland, with its dim lighting and dark wood partitions that carve the room into a maze of dining nooks (if you’re having trouble spotting your server, push the buzzer on your table). But it’s marked by whimsical touches: arcs of books strung onto stiff wire, a cluster of paper lanterns that resembles a bubble cloud. 

The fare—much of it twists on Korean staples from fried rice to grilled kalbi (short rib)—is as lighthearted as the lanterns, though much of it sits heavy in the stomach. Indulgent burgers are topped with pork belly or a soft-cooked egg (kimchi’s spicy acid ferment cuts the richness). A seafood pancake is fried to a hard crunch and dunked in soy sauce. A plate of chewy rice disks and shredded duck is slathered in gochujang, a fermented chili paste whose earthy pungency is something of an acquired taste. For those whose taste buds lean Midwestern, the broccoli salad is a lovely riff on the regional classic, spiked with almonds, puffed rice, and fruit—Minnesotan banchan, perhaps? 920 E. Lake St., Mpls., 612-236-4526, eatdrinkrabbit.com