This post is my first restaurant review on this blog and the restaurant that I will feature is Food Gallery 32 in Korean town. It is not a restaurant but a food court. When Americans think food court, they think of food courts in the shopping mall that serves food not because they are good but because it is convenient. There is a food court revival going on in New York City this past two years. I think it will keep going.
The old Plaza hotel (now an apartment + commercial center) has a luxurious food court that is run by Todd English, which has an oyster bar, a sushi bar, pizza bar, pasta bar, etc. Mario Batali and Co. also has a food court called Eataly. The most recent food court that I heard of is in Chinatown.
Korean town is becoming my 2nd most frequented neighborhood (first is chinatown) outside of my own neighborhood. The 2nd spot used to be held by St. Marks. The main reason why I go to Korean town so frequently is because of Food Gallery 32 and I will tell you why.
1) I never have to wait for a table. Can't say that for Kunjip and other Korean restaurants that have a 15-30 minutes wait depending on the time of the day.
2) I can hang out at this place as long as I want. There is never a rush to give up my table.
3) The food is reasonably priced for Korean town
4) The food is delicious if you order the right thing.
I have only ordered from one stall and that is stall number 4 - Korean House. It was recommended by my friend Aneesh. I have also consistently order two items on their menu 1) L.A. Kalbi (Los Angeles-style Grilled Short ribs) which comes in small or large portion. Small is good for one person and large serves two. 2) Kalbi Tang (Short ribs soup). The best Kalbi, in my limited experience, is served at a restaurant in Fort Lee, New Jersey. I can tell you the name if you are interested. I honestly do prefer Kunjip's Kalbi Tang. However, due to reasons stated above, Food Gallery 32 provides the perfect balance in terms of eating experience.
Once you order and pay for your food, take the little buzzer and head upstairs to the main eating hall. That's where you will find all the tables and chairs. The buzzer will buzz when your food is ready.
Hope you will enjoy this place.
|First floor of Food Gallery 32|
|"Korean House" where I usually do my ordering|
|L.A. Kalbi for two (sorry about the blurriness)|
|Kalbi "Tang" (soup)|