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Franchia Review: Zen in the City

NicoleFriedman | Dec 30, 201002:26 PM

I've been to Franchia several times, often as the start of a first (or last) date:} I absolutely love the zen like atmosphere of the restaurant. Also, it's more casual than its sister restaurant Hangawi so I don't feel awkward reading a magazine or paper there with my lunch.
I'm not a vegetarian but the food is superb; I didn't miss the meat. I had a korean pear and mango salad; fresh, crisp, juicy and delicious. For an entree I had the vegetable curry hot pot. They don't describe the type of curry in the menu but it's similar to Japanese curry without being as sweet or heavy. It comes in a typical korean cauldron (i.e. HOT). The sauce is thick, coating pieces of mock chicken (crispy and insanely delicious), cabbage, potatoes and a few other veggies. It came with rice and kimchee (spicy and mild). For dessert I had the tofu cheesecake (mmmm!!!) with lotus leaf tea. (It tastes like green tea sans the caffeine). I didn't have it this time but their lychee wine is out of this world.
The cons: SLOW service. I waited and waited for some water and they never refilled my cup. Also, a table of 4 came in after me but were served before me, with the waiter fleeing with their orders before I could say anything. Finally, the price is a tad high (probably due to its Park Ave location). Lunch without any alcohol cost me almost $50.
Pros: Very delicious, fresh food. They didn't even offer the fruit concoctions from their menu due to it being out of season. Also, they let you linger in peace. (At least when it's not overly crowded).

12 Park Ave, New York, NY 10016

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