Korean food heads to Lenexa Public Market

Japchae from Kimchi and Bap / Photo Courtesy of Brenda Cox

The Lenexa Public Market (8750 Penrose Lane Lenexa, KS) is gaining traction as an international food hall, offering a wide selection, such as African Dream Cuisine and Sohaila’s Kitchen. It was the birthplace of Taiwanese street food vendor Chewology before Chef Katie Liu transitioned to a full service restaurant in Westport (which we christened Best New Restaurant of 2022). And now Lisa Hamblen’s Kimchi and Bap will soon be added to the list.

Hamblen began showcasing her traditional Korean cuisine in a series of pop-ups last year. She nearly sold out each weekend with her classic dishes of bibimbap and japchae noodles. In her last 2022 pop-up she made dosiraks (Korean lunchboxes) full of kimchi, leafy greens, fermented vegetables, marinated beef bulgogi and more.

Driven by nostalgia, Hamblen is a self-taught chef inspired by her mother’s Korean cooking. Her menu will focus on Korean comfort foods. “I want to make it like something your parents would have made or your grandparents would have made,” says Hamblen, who plans to offer Korean staples along with rice bowls.

Hamblen wants customers to feel like they can “slowly dive” into Korean food if they’ve never had it before. As she settles in, she hopes to add more options like daily specials of dumplings or kimchi pancakes. 

Kimchi and Bap is expected to open in late spring.

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