Updated Jun 28, 2022 - Food and Drink

West Des Moines restaurant serving Korean corndogs and fried chicken

Food from Jenny Lee's Korean restaurant
A Korean cheese corndog (left) and "Takos" with corn tortillas, cheese, choice of protein, ube crema, kimchi and scallions. Photos courtesy of Jenny Lee

A new Korean fusion restaurant is opening in West Des Moines Tuesday and you'll find all the traditional eastern Asian flavors like gochujang and kimchi, but with a trendy twist.

Driving the news: Jenny Lee Symonds, a local Korean-American chef, is opening up her own space Jenny Lee's Korean American Kitchen in West Des Moines at the former spot of UNRVLD barbecue.

  • Symonds previously operated TaKo inside the kitchen at Boomer's Bicycle Lounge.

How it started: About 16 years ago, Symonds' mother owned a Korean restaurant along Douglas Ave and Merle Hay Road, but "back then I don't think it was quite time for Korean foods," she said.

Since then, Symonds said she's wanted to bring the Korean "street-style" flavors that she loves to the Des Moines metro, but with her own creative twist.

  • While there are classic dishes like bimbim bap and tteokbokki, she's bringing some inspiration from her SoCal upbringing like Korean BBQ tacos with ube sauce and Korean Fried chicken sliders.

The menu: Expect to find other bold flavors, including lettuce bowls, fusion pizza, "sandos" which are Asian-inspired sandwiches and rice/noodle bowls.

  • She's also serving wine slushies and other alcoholic beverages.

Plus: It's a fast-casual-style restaurant with seating available for up to 40 people inside and 20 people outside.

What they're saying: Expect to find Instagram-able food, but without sacrificing taste, Symonds said.

Open: 11am-8pm, Mon-Thurs; 11-9pm, Fri-Sat; 11am-7pm Sun. Located at 3701 EP True Pkwy, Suite 400 in West Des Moines.

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