Archive for '32nd btw. Mad+5th'

Chung Moo Ro now Miss Korea Barbecue

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Shuttered Korean barbecue spot Chung Moo Ro was never really in the ML price range, so we didn’t really mourn it when they closed up shop over the winter. Miss Korea Barbecue has just opened in its place. Both the new look of the space inside and the menu look remarkably similar to Haru Hana just down the block, so it may be the same owners.

Get a glimpse of the menu after the jump.
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Kyochon Finally Bringing Korean Fried Chicken to Midtown for Lunch!


I have always lamented the fact that all the Korean fried chicken places in Midtown are only open for dinner… which makes this news that much more exciting!  Kyochon, the Korean fried chicken chain with U.S. branches in Flushing and L.A., is replacing the Brooklyn Bagel Cafe on 32nd and 5th in Koreatown.  Called the “granddaddy of the Korean fried-chicken scene” Kyochon features fried chicken flavored with soy sauce, garlic, and ton of spices… oh, and there are spicy version available. And of course, the most important thing… it’s open for lunch!  No word on when it will open, but it can’t be soon enough.

Thanks to Liz Matsumoto of for sending in the photo!

Kyochon, 319 5th Ave, New York, NY 10016

Attacking the Todai Sushi Buffet With Competitive Eating Masters


If you read this site often, you know I have fairly strict rules about price. I feel in my heart that lunch should not cost a person more than $10.  But I have equally strong feelings about buffets, and when it comes to something like the concept of all-u-can-eat, well… I can’t help but think that rules were meant to be broken.  I’ll admit up front I don’t break the rule too often for Indian buffets (there are good Indian buffets in Midtown for $10 to $11… so why spend $17?) but when it comes to Asian buffets, all bets are off.  So, two years ago this month I made a price exception and hit up the Todai buffet on 32nd btw. Madison+5th. I thought it was just ok, and definitely not as good as when it was Minado (its previous buffet incarnation, before being bought out by the big buffet chain.)

Since that time the price has gone up to $18.95, not completely shocking for a sushi buffet, but waaaay out of the Midtown Lunch price range (even for a buffet lover like me.)  But when I got an email invite to buffet it up with competitve eater (and profiled Midtown Lunch’er) Crazy Legs Conti and a few of his competitive eating buddies, how could I say no!?!

The play by play of our meal, their pearls of wisdom, and a photo of every plate put down by Crazy Legs… all after the jump.

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Todai (aka the buffet formerly known as Minado)

Here we go again.  I love the buffets… and on Friday I visited another one (with my wife and a few of her co-workers).  I had actually been to this buffet back in March for my brother’s birthday- when it was known as Minado.  We went for dinner, and it was pretty good.  Decent sushi, some good hot things, not too crowded- but things were still fresh, and a huge selection.  A couple of months later, I had read that it was sold to Todai, a Japanese buffet chain with locations mostly in the west coast, Texas, Illinois, Virginia & New York.  My one previous visit to a Todai (in Los Angeles) left me with a bad taste in my mouth (literally).  The rice they used to make the sushi was disgusting, and the warm food was not so great either.

With that in mind, we went to the New York Todai, hoping that some of the Minado goodness was held over in the transition.  Todai is what is known by buffet aficionados as a “Super Buffet”.  It’s a very technical term, and might be difficult to understand for the buffet lay-person.  ”Super” refers to the awesome size and nature of the buffet in question.  Most Super Buffets have many stations, and at least 50 items (I just made that up… I don’t think there is any real measure). 

Super Buffets also require a totally different technique from your small scale and regular size buffets.  With the small buffets it is easy to load your plate up with the 10-20 items they have available… but with a Super Buffet you need to be more cautious.  I like to take small bits of as many items as possible, scope out the real winners and then return for larger portions of the 3 or 4 things that I really loved.

Tackling Minado, the food porn, and the +/- after the jump…

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