Walk up and down 32nd Street and you are faced with Korean food choices galore. But just try and find this particular cozy noodle parlor and if not careful, you’ll never come near the place. Hint – it’s on the third floor. There is actually kind of a sign next to an unassuming glass door, but it’s buried in a myriad of other offerings from karaoke to massage. Hint #2 – this door is just east of a ground floor restaurant called Kom Tang Soot Bull House. Now you’re on your own.
Take the tiny elevator or venture up the stairs past private apartments as if you were going to see an old friend who cooks Korean food really well. Once you’ve arrived you will find yourself in a minimalist space, settling into some traditional seating and surrounded by very odd murals of cartooned Korean children. I’ll let you be the judge. The main room is rather sparse, the separate and ever so slightly nicer room has big windows and a 3rd floor view of Koreatown. But the welcome is warm, and here you are at last – in a mom and pop shop about to partake in some delicious noodles, beer, shoju, korean wine and all without emptying your wallet.
It’s Korean comfort food in the form of hand-torn noodles (sujebi) or chunks of knife cut “dough pieces” (kalguksu) in a variety of flavorful, silky broths including chicken, kim chi, seafood, vegetable and anchovy served in a big silver metal bowl and mostly for less than ten bucks!
Their signature is the chicken kar-jeabe and while it isn’t loaded with the protein, there is enough shredded chicken to cure what ails you plus potato, scallions and more than a hint of garlic. Whole chicken is also offered in a tasty stew with ginseng. I love love loved the seafood pajun, a huge serving of a savory pancake with shrimp, cuttlefish, clams, and green onions. Try dipping it in vinegar and soy sauce for the ultimate pajun pleasure.
There are other offerings from stews to noodle dishes (ask about off menu choices) to hwe dup bap, a raw fish rice bowl with vegetables, seaweed and a spicy, rice vinegar based sauce called chojang. Something not found in most of K-town. And perfect for summer.
They take great pride in their food and check often to make sure the diner is satisfied. No doubt you will be and you can definitely take pride yourself in finding the way here.
32 West 32nd Street / 3rd floor / between Fifth av & Broadway
open daily 10am – midnight