Smile Politely

BEST Restaurateur of the decade: Jin Park

From our BEST Food + Drink of the decade feature:

It should be clear to you by now that Jin Park is laser focused on making sure to find smart ways to elevate Champaign-Urbana’s dining scene. If you have not eaten at Sakanaya, NAYA, or Miga, I would suggest that you change that. Any response about the cost of the food will be met with a reminder that we are already talking about a luxury simply because dining out in any way is just that.

It’s not just that all three restaurants serve amazing food; that much is apparent by the size of the crowds the restaurants attract and by just tasting it to see. It’s the attention to aesthetics and bar program and dessert and restrooms and any other detail that goes into providing a customer with a unique and hospitable experience.

The materials used are always sturdy and simultaneously beautiful. The design is clean, and just challenging enough to be memorable. You know you are there, because it’s only there.

Beyond that, and this is the kicker: these restaurants are fun to go to. You always have fun there, because it’s been designed to make you feel happy to be there. It’s fun unless you are going through a break up or just failed your class. Of course you failed your class: you didn’t go and didn’t do the homework! That’s what happens.

I digress: Jin Park is the best new restaurateur of the decade, and rightfully so. (Seth Fein)

Photo from Park’s Instagram

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