01. May 2012 Korean, Midtown 0

346 West 52nd Street between Eighth and Ninth Avenues
$66 for my share with 2 others, with drinks, with tip
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1. Spicy whelk salad with buckwheat noodles – just enough saltiness and spiciness. It’s refreshing to see whelks on the menu.
2. Poached sablefish with spicy daikon – reminded me of a wonderful dish I had at Tojo’s in Vancouver, only not as much finesse
3. Tofu with ginger-scallion dressing – I couldn’t tell what kind of tofu it was because it was stringy. I wondered if it was the fried batter that made it so because it had the texture of mozzarella cheese.
4. Makgeolli, or Korean rice beer – They called it rice beer, but I read that it’s mostly referred to as rice wine. It’s quite thin but milky, and the sourness and sweetness are both very subtle.

Most boring:
1. Kimchi-bacon-chorizo “paella” with fried egg – I think they called it paella because it was on a sizzling plate, but it reminded me of a dish you make with your leftovers topped with a fried egg. It’s good–just not worth $16.

1. Bulgogi sliders – Even Ruth Reichl wrote a poem about them, but it’s still the same bulgogi flavor you get outside of the Los Angeles area: a little too sweet and lazy

The maître d’ was impatient when the place was crowded from about 6:30pm until 9pm. She just had it from every customer insisting they were the next ones to be seated. We never saw her again until my friend ordered another glass of Riesling, but the entire staff was more attentive after the dinner rush was over.