Chef Edward Kim is a restless soul. Born and raised in the north suburbs of Chicago, he left home to become a lawyer in New York but somehow found his way to the opposite coast, where he enrolled at the renowned Le Cordon Bleu in Los Angeles. After spending several years honing his craft in locales as far-flung as Seoul, South Korea, Kim returned to his native city to open a restaurant that would draw on his Asian heritage and penchant for gastronomical globetrotting.
Just like its chef, Ruxbin is the product of a hodgepodge of competing influences. To its credit, the BYOB bistro doesn’t try to hide this fact—its 32-seat dining room is built entirely from salvaged and repurposed materials. Chef Kim’s seasonal menu reflects his own restless nature, and dishes are liable to change as soon as they reach the height of their popularity. This willingness to take risks has attracted a host of devotees, including GQ , which named Ruxbin one of its Ten Best New Restaurants in America in 2012.