Friday, September 10, 2004

I got some kimchi, I got some kimchi, do do do dooo do

Today, I was introduced to Woo Chon Restaurant (8-10 W36th St., between 5th and 6th Ave, B, D, F, N, Q, R at 34th St./Herald Sq.). This is how it went down. Scene: Mulling around cheapo-hoochie clothes shop Rainbow, waiting for internet superstar friend to get her 7,000 pairs of $5 stilettos tallied. Her: Wanna stop by this place I know around the corner? Me: It's almost 12, I think I'm on at 1 today, we have to hurry. Her: Okay, well, let me just show you where it is, it's really good. Me: Um, I'm afraid I might be late. Her: We'll just stop by and then get a cab, it's called Woo Chon-- Me: It's Korean? Let's go. They do takeout? Cloud of dust erupts dramatically as players exit stage right. End scene. I wasn't expecting any place fancy; I just thought it would be like the other little cafeteria-style places around Herald Square. I was wrong. It was kinda fancy. Apparently, it's one of the highest rated Korean restaurants in town. Since we were in a hurry, I didn't have time to settle in and enjoy the atmosphere. I hastily ordered kimchi jigae and a Manhattan maki to go (tuna, salmon, yellowtail, eel and avocado, mmmmm. I'm like Homer Simpson with a donut when it comes to good sushi; I just want to sit around gorging on it until my little gullet swells to bursting. Come to think of it, I'm like that with donuts, too....but I don't feel so bad actually doing it with sushi.) She got the bulgogi lunchbox, I think. We took our food and hopped in a cab back uptown, and immediately began to stuff our faces. I started with my maki. She tried her panchan and didn't like it (she crazy) so she gave it to me (thas' cool), and then lit into her grilled beef. Scene: Rear of a cab jerkily wending its way through midtown lunch hour traffic. Her (grubbin'): Irsgurd, ri'? (grub grub) Me (grubbin'): Mmmm, irsderishurs, ilushurshi! (grub. grub grub grub.) End Scene. The maki was very good, though not the best I've ever had. I was also a bit disappointed to discover you only get four pieces. That isht was $9.50, so I was expecting a few more--say, twice that number. You can get a mean eight piece rainbow roll at Akasaka in New Haven for that. (Akasaka* is the joint. There are only two reasons to go to New Haven, and Akasaka is arguably the more important of the two.) When I got back, I broke out the jigae, rice and panchan. They give you a half-dozen kinds of panchan, even with takeout, which I think is a deal-sealer, for me. Seeing as I had two trays of panchan instead of one, though, I never even made it to my jigae at lunchtime. The panchan was nummy, and I think I ate a solid pound of cooked rice. By the time lunch was over, I had a fully distended belly and pleasant chili-buzz to carry me through the afternoon. I'm just now eating my kimchi jigae (jigae is a spicy stew, BTW. There is a whole menu beyond bulgogi and kalbi, you know, but nobody ever talks about anything else. Yeesh.). It's got a thinner broth than the jigae I've had at other places, but it's still mighty good. Wan'know how good? It's so good, I found a whole ass of pork sliced up in it, and I just picked it out and kept on grubbin'. (I gave up eating all creatures but the swimmers almost five years ago, and though I have had the occasional chicken- or beef-broth contamination incident, I haven't had a run-in with pig. Tomorrow I'll either be sick as a dog or off the wagon...) The lunch menu didn't say anything about pork, but I ain't mad at 'em. I should have known better and asked, just to be sure. Koreans are like black folks that way--they'll throw some pork in ya grub in a minute. Thank god they don't know about scrapple. Or do they? Anyway, I am thoroughly pleased with this place. I'll have to go back. It's pricier than I would normally go for, but until I find something closer, or cheaper (the UWS really doesn't have enough non-european restaurants, in my opinion), it'll have to do. *Everybody was always all loved up on Miya or Haya's in New Haven. What was up with that? I mean, unless it was because underage peeps was always gettin' sake-bombed in thur...they couldn't hold a candle to Akasaka. Plus, once I saw mad exterminators in, like, space suits outside Miya. Nasty.)


At 9/11/2004 12:46:00 AM, Blogger deborah said...

Korean food is goooooood


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