June 1, 2024
Long Island City is basically turning into an upscale, modern day Flushing-type environment. There has been a recent surge in the last few years of Asian restaurants popping up all over the place. Close to the popular Vernon Blvd area is a fermentation studio called “Little Banchan Shop”. They sell little Korean side dishes. The owner decided to open a restaurant in the back, Meju. We were able to get reservations a month in advance on Tock for 7 PM on a Saturday evening.
December 13, 2023
If you visit sample sales frequently, there are 2 nearby the Nomad and Koreatown area. Because the sample sales close at 7 PM sharp, it compels you to look for food during core dinner hours. Fortunately if you go shop right after work and finish around 6 PM on weekdays, foot traffic to restaurants won’t be too bad. Olle is a Korean restaurant about a block away from the sample sale store on 5th Ave.
November 29, 2023
This restaurant is from a renowned Korean chef (Ok Dongsik) and is a 6 time Michelin Seoul Bib Gourmand restaurant. We were nearby at a popular sample sale, and this was on my list for a while to checkout. The menu is very small and is straight forward. We were able to walk in at around 6:30 PM on a Wednesday evening without reservation. They turn over seats fairly quickly even though there can easily be a line of people waiting.
Updated September 16, 2023
For our anniversary, I camped on Tock to make reservations for Atomix. Here, they actually have 2 different menus: a bar tasting menu and a Chef’s counter tasting menu. I actually made reservations for both, with some thought that I was going to sell the bar one because I thought they would be similar. However after some research, I realized they are actually 2 distinct experiences. I ended up keeping both reservations, and so there will be two distinct reviews for Atomix.
August 26, 2023
Bom is a restaurant located in the back room of its sibling restaurant, Oiji Mi. We had been to that before, and I thought it was pretty decent. Bom was always on my list of things to try, but at $295 per person, I was pretty hesitant and skeptical. This restaurant doesn’t even have a Michelin Star yet. Since reservations are fairly easy and Oiji Mi was pretty good, I thought I’d give this a try since we were celebrating two major milestones in our lives.
February 11, 2023
Jua is one of those new-ish Korean restaurants that has received a number of praises from all sorts of diners. I was able to get a 2-seater a few days before Valentine’s Day on a Saturday evening. It did require me to sit and snipe on Resy, which fortunately was not as difficult as trying to get reservations at Don Angie. Jua is a restaurant by chef Hoyoung Kim, who was the former executive chef of Jungsik.
December 2, 2022
We are likely going to frequent the West Village weekly because we’ve nearly tapped out the heart of the Midtown area. This area is densely populated with a high number of restaurants that goes through frequent turnovers and change. Oppa Bistro was an audible call when we learned that Olio e Piu was very packed at around 5:30 PM on a Friday. We were able to walk into Oppa Bistro with no reservations at around 5:45 PM, and there was just a handful of diners.
November 23, 2022
Naro is a new Korean restaurant that opened right next to the Rockafeller ice skating rink. According to the menu, the Naro name was inspired by South Korea’s first ever space vehicle to successfully achieve Earth’s orbit and also from the Korean phrase nah-ro (which means “through me”). Naro focuses on Korean cuisine, drawing inspiration from classic dishes from different moments in Korean history. Lastly, this is the third restaurant from the Atomix and Attaboy founders, so there is definitely some expectations.
Updated October 15, 2022
This is either a blessing or a curse of the reservation system Tock. When the time comes to make reservations for super hot restaurants, you literally have less than 2 seconds to grab a reservation spot when they become available. I mistakenly grabbed a bar reservation thinking it was the Chef’s Counter, and I was mildly disappointed. However, I refreshed the reservation system about 10 minutes later, and I noticed there were an opening for counter seating the following week.
May 27, 2022
I read about Oiji Mi somewhere, and my gourmand syndrome was kicking in since I felt like I haven’t been to a prix fixe upper end restaurant in a while. Oiji Mi is relatively new, and it comes from the owners of the original East Village’s Oiji. It offers creative contemporary Korean dining composed uniquely for NYC. I saw that they offer a 5 course tasting menu for $125 per person, and the menu looked quite interesting.