Archive for '32nd btw. B’way+5th'

Korean Bakery Chain Paris Baguette Coming to K-Town

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Paris Baguette, a huge worldwide Korean bakery chain, will be opening their first Manhattan branch on 32nd btw. B’way+5th. They do serve sandwiches, but the big deal appears to be about the breads and pastries. The first branches to open in the states were in California (of course), where it got raves from yelpers, chowhounders and bloggers alike.

I had never heard of it until seeing the sign, but it turns out that there is one branch in Queens and two in New Jersey. Anyone been to any of the local branches? What are we in for?

Sake Bar Kirakuya Now Open for Lunch

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Newish Koreatown sake bar Kirakuya (on 32nd btw. B’way+5th, 2nd Floor) is now open for lunch and serving special sets. Options under $10 include udon and soba noodle bowls served hot or cold and rice bowls with tempura or unagi. Check out a close up of the menu after the jump…

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Lunch’er “Chris” Reports: Arirang’s Chicken Tastes Like Chicken

A few weeks ago Lunch’er “Chris6Sigma” was kind enough to check out the Korean Noodle Soup cart on 49th btw. 6+7th and report back.  This week he has turned his attention to Arirang in Koreatown, and sent in this report:

Arirang Entrance on 32nd St

Being ‘a chicken’ is a multilateral term, but is usually used in negative connotations. e.g. “The French were a bunch of surrender monkey chickens during WWII” or “What are you McFly… a chicken?” Similarly, ‘tasting like chicken’ is a phrase reserved for bland and unimaginative cuts of protein.

At Arirang (on 32nd btw. B’way+5th) the chicken… tastes like chicken. Americans have gotten so used to battering and deep frying their birds, smothering them with sauces, gravy and a heavy hand of spice, we’ve forgotten what chicken actually tastes like. In the process of commoditization and modernization, the once noble fowl has become so bland that it’s an unspoken requirement that a chicken be heavily seasoned or sauced to make it palatable.

However, the chicken soups at Arirang taste cleanly and boldly of chicken. Sheer poultry flavor, savory, fragrant, familiar, and yet exotic for those who grew up eating skinless boneless chicken breasts deep fried or smothered in mushroom gravy or some other Midwestern concoction.

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NYC Cravings Truck To Go Brick & Mortar?

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Walking by the old Wilshire State Bank (on 32nd btw. 5+B’way) the other day, I found myself surrounded by a cloud of plaster and debris. The doors were open to the site of the upcoming Koreatown food court, so I peeked in for a moment to get a photo of the space. It looks like there’s a lot more work to be done demolishing the interior, but you can sort of see how the space is going to come together on the first floor, at least. It looks like most of vendors will be on the left, underneath the mezzanine. The stairs in the back look a little rickety, so there’s a chance they might do some crazy Kyochon-style stairway to get to the upper floors. I don’t know the first thing about construction or design, so I can’t really speculate beyond that.

The big news, though, is the rumors about who might be moving in.

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New 15,000 Sq Ft Food Court Coming Soon to Koreatown

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Food Court Alert! With all the restaurants on 32nd Street, it’s practically already an outdoor food court, but now there’s going to be a real one, with at least 10 different vendors inside. This could be the biggest food court news since they closed the one in the Manhattan Mall (or A&S Plaza as some of us still think of it). With all the lights and signs on 32nd Street it’s pretty easy to miss the new sign that popped up in the former home of the Wilshire State Bank, right across from Woorijip. (I would have missed it too, if the words “Food Court” hadn’t drawn me in!) I made a quick call yesterday to the realtor to get some details. (What can I say, we love food courts.)

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E-Mo Kimbap by Your Surrogate Korean Auntie

With standing room only and walls the color of your bright yellow pickled daikon, E-Mo (W.32nd St. btw. 5th Ave and B’way), which means “aunt” in Korean, serves up homestyle, made-to-order kimbap from a tiny storefront in Koreatown. E-Mo is by far the most popular place to get “Korean sushi” in Ktown. A cheap, hole-in-the-wall, you’d think it would be a Midtown Lunch classic, but surprisingly hasn’t had its own coverage… ’til now. And come on Zach, it’s secretly a caloric brick.

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Izakaya Moku is No Sake Bar Hagi (But It’s Good Enough For Me)

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It seems pretty likely that all of the new places that make up the recent Japanese “invasion” of Koreatown are owned and operated by Koreans rather than Japanese.  Arang hides nothing with its mixed menu of Korean and Japanese foods and Haru Hana’s broad survey of all foods Japanese is a bit unusual. The latest beach head is Izakaya Moku (on 32nd btw. B’way+5th), and it has inspired much consternation among chowhounders and other seekers of authenticity. Here’s the thing: I don’t really care.

I love Japanese food. And until recently, the only option for those of us working near 34th Street was to hop the 6 train. I’ve happily checked out the other places that have popped up in K-Town, and jumped at the chance to try out Izakaya Moku.

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Izakaya Moku Continues the Japanification of Koreatown

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Is it just me or does it seem like there are a lot of new Japanese spots popping up in Koreatown?  Haru Hana opened a month ago on 32nd btw. B’way+5th serving ramen, udon, sushi, and katsu- and now Izakaya Moku has opened on the same block.  Fork in the Road filed an early look at this new place, praising the yakitori and okonomiyaki- but the exciting news is that unlike most Izakaya (which are after work places that don’t tend to open until after 5pm) this place is open for lunch.  Plus they’re offering 20% off their lunch menu through the end of Feburary.

Check out the lunch menu after the jump…

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Haru Hana Brings Japanese to K-Town

Just before the new year Time Out New York reported that a new Japanese restaurant called Haru Hana had opened on the main strip in Koreatown (on 32nd btw. B’way+5th), serving up “sushi, yakitori and hot pots”. They also have udon, ramen, and katsu, plus a lunch menu in which most of the items are under $10. Ultraclay gets the first taste, and seemed to enjoy his eel over rice and yakitori- although he noted how unusual it is to see a Japanese restaurant in Midtown that does everything, rather than focus on doing one thing well.

Check out the lunch menu after the jump…

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With Winter Approaching Gahm Mi Oak is a Great Splurge Lunch

With baby and the wife in tow (she got the day off today!), I headed down to Koreatown for a leisurely today.  Normally I am a $10 and under kind of a guy, but I think if you have to work on a holiday you should be allowed a little bit of a splurge.  So, with that new rule guiding me I decided to hit up Gahm Mi Oak- one of the nicer (and more unique) Korean food options on 32nd btw. B’way+5th Ave.  The menu is pretty small, and almost everything on it is over $10, but if you’re looking for something completely offal- this is your place.  Gelatin of cow knee? A soup made with ox bones?  Raw oysters and pork belly?  It all sounded great to me… but I was there for one thing and one thing only.  Soon dae! (Korean blood sausage.)  Ever since I had Woorijip’s version, I’ve been craving a solid hot version from a restaurant- and all the Midtown Lunch commenters seem to agree, Gahm Mi Oak’s is the best in K-Town.

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