Our friend Eddie introduced us to Pocha 32 15 West 32nd Street, New York, NY 10001 where the theme is Korean street food. The tables are made out of emptied oil barrels. The netted ceilings have bottle caps hanging from them.  The walls are lined with photos that customers took in the space. It’s meant to look like the night markets in Korea.

ceiling at Pocha 32 (2)

Throw Jo Makkoli, an unfiltered rice wine, into the mix, and you’re guaranteed to get crowds of college students. Interestingly served in little metal pots and bowls, looks like cereal milk and tastes like spiked cereal milk. Lon and I weren’t too fond of it but our companions tell us, it’s what you’re supposed to drink with this street food. We opted for some Iced Barley Tea.

Pot of Ja Makkoli Jo Makkoli

One of the popular road side favorites is a spicy grilled pork belly, Sam Gyup Sal Gui. It’s the dish we came to try, so we greedily ordered two orders but it wasn’t as good as usual (Eddie and Carlo had been here before) so there’s some inconsistency. The flavors are that familiar sweet and spicy of Korean food but this time, you could taste too much grill flavor and many pieces were quite dry.

Sam Gyup Sal Gui

But, the Kimchi Tooboo did impress us. We were instructed (by Eddie, not our server) to eat some of the hot (temp and heat) saucy mix of bean thread noodle and scallions first, then eat a chunk of cold tofu afterward. There’s an amazing illusion to eating it this way, where the tofu becomes ultra creamy. You could almost be fooled into thinking it was dairy.

Kimchi Tooboo

The Dukk Boki is a safety dish that is almost fine anywhere. It’s hard to mess up unless the rice cakes are over-cooked and get mushy and too sticky.  Our only complaint about this dish is that it was on the small side.

Duk Boki

The Seafood Pajeon (Korean savory pancake) is thicker here and full of fresh seafood and veggies.

Seafood Pajeon

I would actually order this again here, had they not pissed me off. First they didn’t bring this dish out until a few minutes after we were done with the rest of our food.When Eddie asked about it, our waiter thought he wanted another order. Eddie made it clear in English and Korean, repeating himself a few times, that he was just asking about the one we ordered and not ordering another one. After we finished our Pajeon, several minutes later, another one came to our table. We tried to clear it up with him, and he just mumbled something under his breathe and then insisted on putting it down, and walked away. When the bill came, a second order was charged on our bill. Eddie did not want to argue about it, but that’s enough to make me not return to a restaurant that was hit or miss anyway. Service was horrible even before the incident, and it really wasn’t as cheap (roughly $26 per person) as it should be.

posted by jessica at 05:47 PM Filed under Asian, Restaurants. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Both comments and pings are currently closed.