Downtown Korean Barbeque, Atti, keeps Brooklynites leaning in

The exterior of Atti.
The interior of Atti.
Photo courtesy of Atti.

A new restaurant is bringing the best of Korean cuisine to Downtown Brooklyn. 

“When Koreans meet, instead of simply saying hello we ask if you’ve had a good meal.” 

That is how the team at Atti begins to describe their concept, making an emphasis on how, in Korean culture, food is closely related to affection. 

“When our far-away parents call to check on us, they ask how we’re eating.”

The Korean barbeque in downtown Brooklyn is meant to be a place where friends come together and share many aspects of the experience of having a meal. 

“The mechanics of preparing the food together, in a Korean barbeque, where there are many flavors, many small bites that make a good flow, and without smoke leaving smells on anyone’s clothes, make people come closer,” said Min Sung Kang, co-owner of the restaurant. “We want friends to come, have a great time together and then come back together.”

“Sharing well-prepared, thoughtful meals is a central part of our life,” reads the the Korean barbeque restaurant’s statement.Courtesy of Atti.

Apart from the distinctive dynamic of the meal, Atti stands out for the way it’s decorated. 

The place was created by studiOH — a Brooklyn interior design studio and restaurant group owned by wife and husband team of designers and restaurateurs, Ju Young Oh and Kang. 

Wooden booths that seat parties of four and up to 12 people around black soapstone tables under minimalistic light fixtures, clean lines and angular features make up a space that is easy to navigate for the eye. 

“That is all my wife,” said Kang. “I was ambitioning a trendy place and she made it thinking of how it could stay trendy and last for a long time. It doesn’t matter where you seat, the space works from all angles.”

Another point of focus for the restaurateurs is the freshness of the vegetables and meats they serve as well as their in house processes for 45 to 60 days dry age meat.

Korean food on a table at Atti, downtown Brooklyn

At the Korean barbecue, food is grilled at the center of the patrons table. “We make sure to have the mechanisms needed so that smoke doesn’t come close or leaves a smell on anyone’s clothes, said Kang. “That way, people can lean in.” Courtesy of Atti.

“Every time we had family coming to visit, we had to go into Manhattan to find Korean home cooking or Korean Barbeques. And the commute took away from the experience,” said Kang.  The couple expanded into the restaurant business starting with a small café near Ju Young Oh’s alma mater Pratt Institute in 2010, then opening MS. OHHO cafe, for takeout and delivery in Greenpoint in 2019. In 2020 came Kuun in Downtown Brooklyn.

While these neighborhood Brooklyn spots highlight home Korean cooking, for the new project the couple wanted to create a more refined destination for elevated Korean BBQ. 

Atti is located at 294 Livingston St. The spot has been a hit since its opening last year. The team keeps striving for improvements, continuously creating new specials and they will soon implement Japanese wagyu. 

“When we had our Valentine’s special, there were so many ‘waow’ sounds around,” said Kang.