The Rabbit Hole gastropub is our nod to Korean Pogjangmachas, but our food is Korean by way of Los Angeles. It’s not your Halmeoni’s, Omma’s or Imo’s Korean cuisine, nor is it the kind you had while you were in Korea. It’s also not “Americanized” Korean as we are not “Americanized” Koreans. We are Korean-Americans and The Rabbit Hole is who we are.
A DIY Love Story
Beaches for Snowbanks
We (Thomas & Kat Kim) drove our U-Haul from L.A. to Minneapolis in January 2012—because why not move in the middle of winter?? This was an obvious indication of our craziness!!
The main question that we asked ourselves was “why Minneapolis? Why leave the land of sun and beach for snow and snowbanks??”
The simple answer: we wanted a change.
The Left Handed Cook
The Left Handed Cook was “cooked up” (seriously first and last pun!!) after our first meeting with the Midtown Global Market management. The name was easy—I’ve been calling Thomas my “left handed cook” since he made me dinner on our 2nd date. With help from the Midtown Global Market, Neighborhood Development Center and the city of Minneapolis, we were able to secure finances and a kitchen space in the MGM.
As soon as we signed the lease, Thomas’ dad came out from L.A. to help us with the remodel and my mom started sewing up denim aprons. It was DIY’ed to the MAX!!! Cleaning, nailing, pounding, designing, tiling, painting, electrical, reusing, repurposing—you name it, we did it. Everything about our “Minne Kitchen” was our blood, sweat, tears, fights, exhaustion, laughter and love.
With the help of both sets of parents, neighbors in the Market (heads-up to Manny of Manny’s Tortas, Tracy and Molly of Kitchen in the Market, Steve Unayan who flew out from L.A., starting LHC staff members, Steve and Sara, and many more) we opened The Left Handed Cook in May of 2012.
Down the Rabbit Hole
After a whole year of working 7 days a week, we found ourselves thinking “why not open a full service restaurant and bar?” An open space was also conveniently just steps away from the Left Handed Cook, and so started the adventure down The Rabbit Hole. Again we DIY’ed to the MAXXXXX!! Parents came to help, our wonderful L.A. friends Steve and Dave came to help. Neighborhood Development Center, the City of Minneapolis and Highland bank also rallied to our cause. Most importantly, our baby girl, Kyu, arrived just in time only one week before we opened the restaurant. A new restaurant AND a new baby—we really know how to plan things out!!
At it’s heart, The Rabbit Hole truly is a Mom-and-Pop restaurant and as always, we are a constant work in progress. Our food is the story of our lives. It’s our joy, passion and hard work—our past, present and future. It’s the food we enjoy eating, and we hope you’ll stop in and enjoy a bit of our story.
Kat was adopted and grew up on a farm in the northwestern corner of North Dakota, but at heart she was a city girl and moved to Minneapolis in 1999. Residence in NYC and L.A. were soon to follow (why not go big?)
From Hairstylist to Anthropology Student to Apparel Manufacturing and Brand Management, this is a Kat with many hats. The next “logical” step was of course to open a restaurant with her boyfriend (now husband) Thomas. In a city that he had never been to and that she hadn’t lived in for 12 years. Because why not?
Crazy, yes… But hey, it all worked out pretty great!
Chef Thomas Kim
Thomas was born and raised in L.A. and started cooking at a very young age. This resulted in a few home kitchen fires, as well as 11 years of culinary-specific experience as an executive chef and manager restaurants with 5+ million in annual sales.
Thomas went through the school of hard knocks as in he worked his way up and through all stations of a restaurant from Front of House to Back of House. He has worked in several fine-dining establishments and with notable culinary figures such as Roy Yamaguchi (James Beard winner), Nobu Matsuhisa (James Beard winner), Jin Suzuki (Michelin Recognized Chef – Hachi Ju Hachi, Saratoga, CA).
T.K. previously owned and operated The Standing Room, which was located in the back of a liquor store in Redondo Beach, California. It drew high praise for his eclectic gourmet burger menu, which continues it’s quest on the Rabbit Hole menu today.
He is also left handed.
photo of Thomas, Kat, & Kyu by: Marie Ketring