This restaurant has a lot of heart and Seoul

We Dine in the D at the new Korean Fusion restaurant, Gogi

With dishes like bibimbap and kimchi, you can tell this place has a Korean flare to it, but Gogi is really more of a fusion restaurant, hence its name.

"So Gogi is kind of a fun play on the word bulgogi," explained co-owner Jon Carlson. "So Gogi is a short version that is easy to pronounce, and I think it lets you know that we're having fun with our food and not taking ourselves too seriously."

Gogi is a passion project for Carlson, an experienced restaurateur.

"I married someone who was Korean-American, we went to college together at the University of Michigan. So as I started dating and getting to know her culture, her American-Korean culture, food was a huge part of it," said Carlson.

So in June, Gogi opened. The walls are decorated in beautiful paintings and murals by an Asian-American artist, something Carlson felt strongly about. 

The food, while Korean inspired, is really more of a blend of a lot of cuisines. 

"I am not Korean, my staff is not here, so we are influenced by Korean food and culture, and Asian food, and we wanted to pay our respects, but not copy what we didn't grow up with," said Carlson.

Carlson and his staff teamed up with a Korean brewery called Playground and they trained in Korea on the food side, while the Playground staff came over to Michigan to learn about how they make beer. 

Dishes on the menu include bibimbap -- probably their most classically Korean dish -- as well as kimchi fries, tacos, bao buns, a burger and more. 

Gogi is at 109 E. 5th Street in Royal Oak

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