Tuesday, April 24, 2012
Boka - East Village
Boka is a Korean dive on St. Marks that I've been meaning to try for a long time that specializes in Korean fried chicken in a soy garlic sauce. You may be familiar with their counterpart: BonChon, which I've had before and although good, I was not terribly impressed with, but friends relayed that Boka is the superior side of the coin.
They were right. The chicken at Boka is bigger, juicier, more flavorful and presented better than at the BonChon sister-locations. The restaurant also has a nicer ambiance with darker lighting, a quieter atmosphere and a more relaxed waitstaff. The smaller plates of kimchi, edamame, dumplings and others were also up to par, but the chicken is what fuels addictions here.
Airy, thin and crispy skin blankets juicy tender meat with a healthy coating of soy garlic dressing that makes for a uniquely savory experience compared to your more common southern fried chicken. The addictive quality is that the chicken is not heavy nor greasy so you can really pack them into your gut--which is a great problem. A large mix of wings and drumsticks comes with 15 pieces for $20, which is fairly cheap when shared among 3-4 people and supplemented with a few side dishes. If you're tired of the hot wings and beers and your standard sports bar setting this would be a good change of pace since they have a lot of Japanese import beers on draft as well.
9 St. Marks Pl., New York, NY, 10003, 212 228 2887, Boka