Food Gallery 32 Has the Internet Buzzing

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Judging by all the heated exchanges in the comments section of last week’s visit to Food Gallery 32, it should come as no surprise that the rest of the food folks around the internet are chattering about Koreatown’s food court as well. On Monday, Eater posted a Good News/Bad News roundup of the reviews so far. Predictably, no one is particularly fond of the ordering system. More importantly, they had some comments on the food. Kitchenette of In a Nutshell somehow wasn’t so into Bian Dang’s pork chop; Dave from Eating in Translation backs me up on not liking the jja jang myon at Jin Jja Roo and wishes the jjam ppong was spicier. Fork in the Road reminds us that we’re talking about a simple food court, so our expectations ought to be a little lower while trying out Hamnok’s seafood pancake (a little doughy and mostly octopus, but well flavored) and bi bim bap (would be better from a stone bowl) along with a hot bowl of haemul kal-guksu from Big Bowl (slightly overcooked noodles, but a good broth).

With only a couple weeks under their belts, I’d again suggest we allow them some time to settle in. If the difference between week one and week two alone is anything to go by, I think they’ll be in good shape by the end of the winter.


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    I’ve been a couple of times and so far so good. Yes the ordering system is convoluted, and it’s annoying now while traffic is sparse, but as it gets more crowded it will make more sense and avoid huge lines at counters.

    The food might not be as good as some of the traditional sitdown restaurants in K-town, but I’m able to get in, get lunch and get back to the office much quicker here. And the amount of food you get is pretty great for the price. Both things I’ve had have come with soup, kimchi and various sides and sauces. Both were $8… this is pretty much right in the ML wheelhouse. Lots of food, quickly for a good price.

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    Strange that we are being treated to the opinions of people who don’t know squat about Korean food. We have ML and Eating in Translation telling us that they didn’t enjoy their jja jang myon, which they were trying *for the first time ever*. Hey, I like to try new things too, but I don’t go around blogging about restaurants based on my ignorance.

    Even the Village Voice whines that her “bibimbap… served in a metal bowl… didn’t have those crispy bits.” Um, if it was served in a metal bowl, that’s plain old bibimbap, which *is not supposed* to have crispy bits. For crispy bits, you have to order gopdol (or dolsot) bibimbap. Admittedly, the gopdol bibimbap at Gallery 32 doesn’t have a lot of crispy bits either, but you’re not going to get a friggin stone pot from a food court!

    Here’s my own personal opinion of Gallery 32 in a nutshell so far (based on very few meals but apparently more than these bloggers): Not as good as a typical full-service Ktown restaurant, but significantly cheaper and you don’t pay tip. On the other hand, while it’s more expensive than Worijip, it’s about 10 times better and it’s a far better place to dine in.

  • I apologize for being an ignorant white person.

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    I agree that its a bit much to expect a friggin stone bowl for bi bim bap at a casual food court…

  • I stopped by Foodlol yesterday night just to look and it was uber spacious. They need to put tables on the first floor.

    The ordering system concept is about the same as ParkAsia (bleh) — you can order from all of the places at one go.

    However, they don’t have individual kiosks, and the slideshow menu display above the 2 registers is extremely stupid because it does not accommodate human nature. We don’t ever know what we want to order even when we sit down at a restaurant and mill over the selection. How do they expect us to decide standing up staring at a flashing screen?

    The slideshow changes every 5 seconds, forcing you to place a panic order for something on the top third of the screen.

    This is a bad system but I can see why they’re using this business model instead of the traditional sit-down, eat first, pay later deal. The tidbit of information that’s missing is that in a bad economy, a LOT of people are skipping out on the bill.

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    Fwiw, they do have paper menus at the front now.

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