PoCha 32- NYC Korean Food
Navigating Koreantown in NYC could be a bitch. My first time was overwhelming because there are simply too many restaurants to choose from and all of them are usually packed to the brim. Nothing is more satisfying than a hot pot of processed junk- spam, ramen, fish cakes and fermented spicy kimchi. Well, if i gotta pick one, my favorite has to be PoCha 32.
First of all, it was an absolute throwback to one of those covered food tents in Korea with the floor to ceiling draped nets and sake caps strewn on it for decoration. The energy was simply amazing and very Korean. Loud conversations, insane laughter, huge pots of food and the non stop eating, slurping and drinking.
Po Cha served an extensive menu of typical Korean dishes but you should certainly order a casserole (they are practically permanent fixtures on every table). I went for the Boodae Jungol ($27), aka Army Stew aka an everything pot, for the ultimate cold weather comfort food. It was a bubbling cauldron of kimchi, spam, sausage, pork, ramyun noodle, rice cake, mushroom and melty cheese on top. Yes it's junk food but you all need this kinda junk every now and then!
This spectacular mess has been dreaming of it every time the weather turns cold. There's something addictive about that spicy gochujang sauce and the hotchpotch of ingredients. Each order is sufficient for 3-4 pax and it's really satisfying.
Undeterred by the size of my hot pot, i insisted on ordering another side dish at least. What's a food review if you only order 1 item right? So, i picked the Squid Soondae ($25). I didn't understand how could squid be so expensive, until it was served. Hell this isn't a side dish! It's a bloody super sized main course!
This giant squid was way too big and fat for the hot plate that it was served on. Only the body of the squid can be contained on the plate and the tentacles had to be snipped off and placed on a different plate.
What's more, as the server sliced the squid, spicy pork belly bulgogi started spilling out of the squid! ZOMG droolicious!!!
The meat was extremely flavorful with the perfect mix of spice from the sauce and the peppers. As with the typical Korean sauces, the base is mostly sweet. Everything was perfectly cooked and the squid wasn't too chewy either. Amazing dish!
The other dishes on the menu. There are a whole lot of them!
Don't go crazy with your order! Portions are HUGE. We had a hard time finishing our food and there were 3 of us (ok 2.5 since i probably only ate half a regular person's portion). Remember to wash the spice down with a watermelon soju.
Absolutely love love love PoCha 32. Not sure about the reservations part but if that doesn't work out, make sure you head there early, put your name down on the waiting list and then come back after. The wait could be a bitch but the satisfaction after is worth it.
PoCha 3215 W 32nd St #2, New York, NY 10001, United States
Daily: 5pm - 3am