Thursday, May 03, 2007

Have You Seen This Bottle

Tonight I went out for business dinner Korean food with some fellow physicians. We tried a new place: Choong Moo Ro (10 West 32nd Street, near 5th Ave: (212) 594-4963). Choong Moo Ro has a somewhat short menu for a Korean restaurant...about four pages long. All of the traditional bar-b-cue dishes are there, as are bim bam bop, hot pot, bokeum and a whole variety of scallion pancakes. We decided against bar-b-cue tonight because, as one of my colleagues said, we were "too tired to cook for ourselves."

Choong Moo Ro is a way hipper looking restaurant than many of the Korean Barbecue places on 32nd Street. The tables are brushed stainless and rounded. The walls are slick, a problem, as the sound reflects all over the place. The crowd was overwhelmingly a young, put together, well dressed and Asian. I did not eat the barbecue, but I will say it looked quite good. However, the kim Chee was fair at best. The selection was somewhat weak, and the amount given was small. To the restaurants credit, when we finished the kimchee, the helpful staff did ask us if wanted more. Bim Bam Bop was tasty, as was a spicy pork, tofu and kimchee dish that we ordered. I did not like the scallion pancake. Several soups, including dumpling were good. OB beer was $5. As is typical in Korean restaurants on 36th Street, the food was served in no particular order.

I wish I had eaten the barbecue; it would have allowed me to more fully judge Choong Moo Ro. However, there are several reasons I will likely not be running back. The first is the noise; because of the layout and decor of the restaurant, it can be impossible to hear your neighbor. The second is the kim chee, which I really like and which was quite weak here. The food itself, was perfectly edible, but it is at so many other places on 32nd Street. But if you are looking for a "scene type" restaurant, this may be the only one with an authentic Korean Barbecue that I have been too.

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