Korean restaurants are going high-end in New York City, and this week, Zagat editor Kelly Dobkin visited one large new restaurant in the Flatiron District. She filed the following report.
"Barn Joo" is taking the already popular Korean gastropub trend a step further by preparing farm-to-table versions of Korean classics with an American twist.
“What we are doing is traditional Korean food and plating it as American food, kind of transformed to American food," says Executive Chef David Lee. "The big difference is, if you go to a Korean restaurant you will see a plate which you don't know how to eat it. But this one, when you get a plate, very similar to other American food, but when you taste it, then you will think, 'Oh, this is a Korean flavor.'"
"Barn Joo", which in Korean means "musical accompaniment to food", features three levels, with the basement providing a stage for live music performances. Ropes, swings and poetry line the walls of the main floor.
"Barn Joo's meaning is eating, drink and play," said owner Charlie Chong. "People come here and enjoy and are happy, and they leave happier."
Lee puts his own unique spin on classics like fried chicken and chik bokki, a special chicken meatball.
"We use organic chicken breast as well as garlic, onion, a little bit of dijon mustard and mayonnaise and bread crumbs," Lee said. "It's basically the same preparation as any other people, but we use our Korean traditional spices."
Barn Joo is located at 893 Broadway.
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