You can thank Mr. Fish for this giant lunch.
No sooner had the ink dried on the print edition of the Counter Culture review of Food Gallery 32 — Koreatown’s fabulous three-level fast food spot – than reports were coming in about stalls in the complex that seemed to be on the verge of closing. Well, changes have occurred in the last month at the wildly popular property, but they actually don’t seem to amount to much. In fact, the repertoire of dishes at the seven counters has expanded slightly, if you take into account both the additions and the subtractions. Leading Fork in the Road to believe that all the franchises represented have a common owner, who’s only attempting to adjust the offerings at the counters, not change the overall mix of food.
Stall #1 now claims to be serving Korean School Food.
While stalls 3, 4, 6, and 7 remain precisely the same, 1, 2, and 5 have undergone an identity change. Counter 1 now goes by the hilarious name of The Gochujang: Korean School Food. The fish balls on a stick, tempura, and set meals remain the same, though some of its sushi thunder has been stolen by the new #2, also with a great new name: Mr. Fish.
Mr. Fish specializes in complex nori rolls. There are 10 available, costing $8 or $9, but available on a nifty $10 lunch special with five extra small dishes and three condiments. The one we went for was the T-ara roll, which slaps shrimp tempura on top of a California roll and squirts a spicy Russian dressing in a circle around it. Kooky, huh?
Usurping the menu of what used to be stall 2 (“Pastel”), the new #5 (now called Doyaji Pork House) replaces the one counter that is to be missed – the one selling gigantic Taiwanese meals with plenty of rice and gravy at bargain prices. Instead, we have wonderful Japanese-style pork cutlets, curried at your request. And there’s a new slogan at stall #5: “Cook Just Front of You.” That’s fine with us.
The plate-flopping pork or chicken cutlets have simply moved from #2 to #5.
Food Gallery 32
11 West 32nd Street
But that leaves me half-raw!
This article from the Village Voice Archive was posted on August 16, 2012