Watermelon soju and Korean fried chicken
Bi bim bap
On Friday night I arrived just before dinner-time so by the time I settled in we were hungry. I walked with Jess to St. Mark’s Place to meet Tien at Boka, a place known for their Korean fried chicken. I thought maybe this was an outpost of the place that I had met up with Jeannette and Tien a few years ago, but that was BonChon in Koreatown. Then again, this chicken was very much like that and from what I can tell, St. Mark’s Place has become some sort of little Asia with a ton of Japanese, Korean, and Vietnamese restaurants, as well as a sprinkling of karaoke joints.
We all shared a watermelon filled with Soju. It was not very potent, but was very tasty. The chicken was so good. I am usually really picky about chicken on the bone, pulling off the meaty parts and not eating the skin. This chicken was so delicious that I was just picking it up and biting into it. The skin was super crispy and the meat was really moist. We got half drumsticks and half wings and got half of them spicy and half with a garlicky soy. The spicy was definitely really spicy, so we left those for Tien and Jess and I stuck to the soy, which had a great flavor.
We ordered a few Korean sides like japchae and bi bim bap and both of these were great too. Later on we tried a vegetable pajeon (pancake) and that was good. Tien had to leave to pick up his parents at the airport and Jeannette and Yvan joined us. They ordered the ddeokbokki. It’s a rice cake/ball (looks like noodles) in a spicy sauce. This I was not a fan of, but I don’t think it was because it wasn’t good. I just don’t care for it. I remember not being a fan of it before and so this was not a surprise.
The restaurant itself was decorated very warmly with lots of wood. (Don’t use the bathroom, though. It was horrible.) The turnover on the tables was pretty quick and there were a ton of people in and out. We were sort of getting pressured so hurry it up, but we kept ordering more things and ended up staying for like 3 hours! Overall, a really great meal and a great way to kick off my weekend in New York.