Guide to Food Gallery 32, Food Court in Koreatown
Since Food Gallery 32 doesn't have a website or any easy online access point, here's our guide to each of the stalls—complete with menus. Enjoy!
Bian Dang (NYC Cravings)
Bian Dang, formerly NYC Cravings, transfers its Taiwanese food-truck menu to a brick-and-mortar space in Food Gallery 32. The stall has Taiwanese-style fried chicken and pork chops over rice with a savory pork sauce. Bian Dang also has Zong-zi. These Chinese tamales have glutinous rice, vegetables and/or pork and Chinese sausage wrapped in bamboo leaves.
Hanok makes traditional Korean food favorites, from L.A. Kalbi to spicy stews. There's spicy pork, chicken or beef bulgogi—thin strips of meat marinated in soy sauce, sugar, garlic and ginger. The stall sells Haemool Soon Dooboo Chigae, a stew with seafood and soft tofu, and Kimchi Chigae, or kimchi stew with pork. Bibimbop is a dish with meat and vegetables laid over rice. It's best eaten mixed all together with kochujang, or Korean red pepper paste, and sesame oil.
Hanok was one of the best stalls in the food court that made Korean food with a definite authentic feel. The restaurant lives up to its name, which is a term that describes a Korean traditional home.
Jin Jja Roo
Jin Jja Roo makes Chinese dishes that Koreans have made their own. Jja jang myon is a dish with noodles, pork and vegetables covered in black bean sauce. Don't worry if it looks like black sludge over a bed of noodles. The dish always looks that way. Jjamppong is made up of noodles with seafood and vegetables in white broth or spicy broth. Ttang su yook is the Korean version of sweet and sour pork, while Kkang ppong ki is deep fried breaded chicken. Jin Jja Roo is typical of many restaurants in Korea that only make Korean-Chinese fare.
Noodle 32 has typical Korean noodle soups. Ramen soups have eggs broken up in the broth and can be ordered with vegetables, rice cakes or cheese. Nangmyun are buckwheat noodles eaten in cold broth. Harder to cut with your front teeth, nangmyun usually get slurped up until you have an entire ball of noodles in your mouth. Kal-guksu, or "knife-cut" noodles, get their name from rolling the dough into a thin layer and then rolling the dough into mini-rugs and cutting the layers with a knife. Wheat-flour dough is boiled in Su Je Bi soups. Noodle 32's top-selling dish is Jjol-myun, which are chewy noodles in a spicy sauce.
If you're craving Japanese bento-box lunches, O-de-ppang! has Donburi (rice bowls with meat and vegetables), Teppan-yaki (meat stir-fried in teriyaki sauce) and Onigiri (rice balls filled with your choice of ingredients). Donburi and Teppan-yaki are served with rice, a house salad and seaweed soup.
Pastel offers fried and breaded cutlets, Asian-style spaghetti and omelettes. Strange mash-ups include Seafood Spaghetti with House Special Cream Sauce and Beef Gratin with Vegetables and Bulgoki Sauce.
Boon Sik Zip
Meaning "snack house," Boon Sik Zip offers Korean fast food that's usually picked up in an Asian grocery store or off the street. The stall offers common Korean street food like Dduk-bok-ki (rice cakes in a sweet and spicy sauce), as well as typical Korean grocery-store fare like Kim Bob, or Korean-style sushi that normally doesn't have raw fish. The stall also has Jok-Bal, or boiled pork feet slices served with spicy sauce on the side, and Bo-Ssam, or pork belly slices with Napa cabbage leaves to wrap them in (the ssam part). Dubbed "Korean blood sausage," Soondae is filled with clear noodles, rice and pig's blood in intestinal casings. Boon Sik Zip's version uses imitation casings.