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Yes, it’s Tomukun again, but are you really surprised? Because, let’s be honest, would we possibly go anywhere else? For the perfect bowl of ramen nestled in their signature aromatic pork broth. For the crisp of their pan-fried dumplings. For the tang and spice of their Asian BBQ wings. For their careful selection of imported wine, beer, sake and soju. For the atmosphere and style of this classic Ann Arbor restaurant.

In better times before the COVID-19 pandemic, you crammed yourself through the doors and stood behind an eager crowd, trying to catch the eyes of the host scanning the restaurant to usher out the full and ring in the empty. Once you got your name down, your hunger led you to scan the room along with them, catching a glimpse of each plate that passed by. From bowls of spicy ramen, savory udon and rich pho to the delicate rich dishes of fried pork katsu and chicken karaage, your eyes never grew tired from the delights brought before you.

Perhaps you ventured next door instead, to huddle next to your dining compatriots over the steaming comfort of a Korean barbecue stove as you were absorbed in the operation of trying to get that perfect sizzle on your bulgogi beef. Or maybe you brought a Korean-BBQ natural, and you watched them effortlessly move the tongs over cuts of marinated short rib as you snacked on an assortment of Korean side dishes. 

Whether you decided on their noodle bar or the Korean barbecue, Tomukun is not just the perfect spot for Asian cuisine: It brings us closer together. As conversations flare-up in this communal setting, you’re forced to lean into your dining guest and substitute the noise with the warmth of company and good food.

Daily Arts Contributor Conor Durkin can be reached at cmdurkin@umich.edu.