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Food Gallery 32 is located on 32nd Street in the middle of Ktown in a space that used to be a bank. It was supposed to open in the summer, but it finally just opened very recently.
It looks similar to what a lot of food courts in malls in Asia look like and it has a mix of Korean, Taiwanese and Japanese food. There are 3 floors, the 1st floor has all the actual stalls and up front there is a single cash register area where you order your food and they give you a buzzer that buzzes when your food is ready. The seating is located on the 2nd floor and the 3rd floor. It also looks like the 3rd floor is going to have a crepe / drink place and Red Mango is moving from their current location into the 1st floor. Everything is brand new and very clean.
Here’s a list of the places:
1. Boon Sik Zip: serves boon shik food which is basically Korean street food
2. Pastel: serves Japanese food like katsu, curry rice, omelette rice etc
3. O-de-ppang: serves Japanese food such as donburi, teppanyaki, onigiri
4. Bian Dang: serves Taiwanese food, it’s the guys from the NYC Cravings truck. Bian Dang means lunchbox in Chinese
5. Big Bowl: serves ramen and various Korean noodle dishes
6. Hanok: serves more regular Korean food with various chigae, bokum dishes etc
7. Jin Jja Roo: serves Korean-Chinese food
Here’s what I’ve tried so far:
- Soon Dae (Korean Blood Sausage): this was from Boon Sik Zip. Soon dae is a Korean blood sausage that is filled with rice which you dip in some seasoned salt. Soon dae is a pretty popular dish and I like it a lot when it’s done right. Unfortunately, I think the one here might have been frozen before b/c it was sort of dry and the flavor wasn’t that great. 3.25/5
- Fried Squid: this was from Boon Sik Zip. I don’t know why I always order this at Korean boon shik places because it’s usually been sitting around too long and the batter is always too thick, but I made that mistake again. The squid itself was fine and it was freshly fried, but the batter was too thick and oily. 3.25/5
- Odeng (Fish Cake Soup): this was from Boon Sik Zip. The soup itself wasn’t bad, it was fairly light and not overly salty. The fish cakes themselves were decent although I think they were a frozen kind based on the texture which was too soft, homemade fish cake have a much firmer texture and more flavor. It was decent though. 3.75/5
- Beef Kim Bap: this was from Boon Sik Zip. This was pretty decent, the flavoring was good and the ingredients tasted good. The rice was fine as well. The beef was a little dry, but aside from that it was pretty decent. 4/5
- Jja Jang Myun (Noodles in Brown Sauce): this was from Jin Jja Roo. This is one of the staple Korean-Chinese dishes and its noodles in a dark sauce that has a lot of onions and pieces of pork in it. The noodles were fine and were reasonably al dente, however the sauce was a bit bland, so I thought it was just so so overall. 3.5/5
- Kkan Poong Gi (Fried Chicken in Spicy Garlic Sauce): this was from Jin Jja Roo. This is another typical Korean-Chinese dish. This was much better than the jja jang myun. The chicken was fried well and was nice and crispy. The sauce was a bit tangy and more spicy than usual which I liked. I think Hyo Dong Gak’s version is better, but this was pretty good and better than Shanghai Mong down the street. 4/5
- Hambak Steak: this is from Pastel. I’m not sure why it was called “Hambak Steak”, but its hamburger covered in gravy with rice. You find this at a lot of Japanese places. The hamburger meat itself was cooked decently and wasn’t dry. The gravy was a bit tangy and sweet, I’d prefer it less sweet though. Overall, it was pretty decent. 4/5
- Pork Chop Over Rice: this is from Bian Dang. This is a very typical dish in Taiwan and its’ called pai gu fan in Chinese. It is a fried pork chop over rice that has a stewed pork belly sauce and pickled vegetables on it. The pork chop was cooked nicely and was tender. However, it didn’t have nearly enough five spice powder in it, so it was a bit under flavored. The meat sauce had decent flavor, but was too salty. The pickled vegetable was decent. Overall, it has potential, but they need to work on the seasoning a bit if they changed it a little bit I think they’d have a pretty decent product. 3.75/5
- Zong Zi (Chinese Tamale): this was from Bian Dang, they gave it to me for free as an opening promotion. It contained glutinous rice, peanuts, dried shrimp, pork, Chinese sausage, green beans, raddish and mushrooms. The filling was good, but the rice was a little too mushy, if they steamed it correctly it would be pretty good. 3.75/5
Overall, it’s sort of a mixed bag as some of the food I tried was pretty decent and other dishes were mediocre. However, it is very cheap and quite convenient. I plan on coming back and trying more dishes to find out what else might be good.