Visiting Barn Joo
I love hanging out with new friends - it is always refreshing when these said friends are people you work with too! I heard rave reviews from my friend Ingrid on Barn Joo, a trendy Korean spot in Flatiron.
The idea of the spot is adorable - when you enter, there is a large wheel to spin for a PRIZE! Who doesn't love that? Jen spun the wheel and got a complimentary glass of house wine (white or red). I understand the restaurant needs to make a profit, but would have been cool if it were an item the entire table could share (round of shots or an appetizer). Also, if these things matter to you, all ingredients are all natural, organic, grass-fed, hormone free and FARM TO TABLE MO FO!!!
To start, I got the Laven-Honey cocktail made from Lavender Infused Vodka, Honey and Lemon Juice. It was so lovely!!! For the rest of the evening, my group shared several different classic Korean spirits. We got the Chum Churum Soju and KSD Makgeolli - both very flavorful and fun to share!
We shared a TON OF FOOD. Like WOW. Aggressive amounts of nom. We got the Bulgogi Pot with soy-marinated beef ribeye, mushrooms and local greens. This was so tasty! Next up, we got the Kimchi Pancake with pulled pork and chopped kimchi. Loved the unique taste combination of this dish. It has the distinctive taste of the fermented cabbage (sounds gross tastes great) and the salty/savory flavor of the pork. The Kimchi Fried Rice was my FAVORITE! It was served with bacon, kimchi, gruyere and a lightly cooked sunny side up egg. I loved the runny egg yolk and combo of bacon and kimchi! The Jap Chae was so yummy - it has similar flavors to the Bulgogi Pot but is over glass noodles. I love the texture and veggies (the mushrooms are super yum). The Roasted Mushrooms were served with chopped herbs and truffle. Very rich tasty and full of unami flavor. The Charred Brussel Sprout was served with bacon lardon, pinenuts, garlic, roasted barley and kimchi. The contrast with the barley was nice but it wouldn't qualify as one of my favorite dishes. The Crispy Asparagus are a new "healthier" play on french fries! They were served with a horseradish and pinenut dipping sauces - I really enjoyed these! The BJ Wings with Soy and Garlic were ok, nothing to write home about. I LOVED the Popcorn Chicken, prepared in a sweet & spicy glaze with onion, pepper, garlic and hazelnut (so surprising). They are tiny addictive nuggets of yum. The largest and by far most expensive ($18) disappointment of the evening was the Berkshire Pork Belly Confit. It was inedible. While I understand this cut of meat is mostly pure fat, it wasn't an appetizing texture. I should have sent it back but was so pleased with the rest of the meal that I just didn't bother.
For dessert, we got the Pumpkin Cake. It was so DELICIOUS and beautifully presented.
This is a super fun Korean Spot that is not in Koreatown! I highly recommend it!