Jump to content


Photo

Insa

Korean Gowanus

  • Please log in to reply
3 replies to this topic

#1 Sneakeater

Sneakeater

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 61,527 posts

Posted 31 August 2018 - 07:05 PM

Insa is a restaurant opened in Gowanus by the couple behind The Good Fork in Red Hook.  I've never been a big fan of The Good Fork, whose Korean-American fusion has always seemed to me to be neither here nor there.  Insa is a straight Korean place.  And as a non-fan of Korean food, I can say that's it's outstanding.

 

This is a much bigger and more aggressively hip place than the homey Good Fork.  There's a big dining room with grills on each table and a Karaoke room off the back; I'm sure that when the place is full, it's insufferably loud.  But if you're willing to forgo the barbecue, there's a very pleasant (and much quieter) bar/lounge room off to the side (which unlike the purposely bare dining room actually has decor).  That's where we went -- and you should, too.

 

The food is of the genre of ethnic food cooked with the technical elán you don't see in the more run-of-the-mill hole-in-the-wally places, so everything is just better than usual. (I recognize, of course, that we're seeing a wave of higher-level Korean restaurants in New York right now, and I'm certainly not putting Insa above those -- just the run of the 32nd St. mill.)  My hungry friend and I had a lot of stuff, and the only thing that struck me as ordinary were the mandu (squash and kimchee filling, I believe), which just didn't have the silky magic that really top-notch dumplings do.  But their famous blood sausage lived up to the hype (the Korean style has a lot of filler -- but very nicely done); the steak tartare packed a flavor punch; the stir-fried sweet potato noodles with vegetables and egg was so much better than I expected that I was almost shocked; the seafood "corndog" (deep-fried seafood sausage):  gross in a good way; and on and on.

 

Somewhat to my surprise, this place gets my very highest recommendation.


Bar Loser

MF Old

#2 AaronS

AaronS

    Advanced Member

  • Admin
  • PipPipPip
  • 5,237 posts

Posted 31 August 2018 - 07:22 PM

I liked it less than sneak did, probably because we focused on the barbecue and I agree that the bar is probably a good idea. there are actually several private karaoke rooms in the back which serve the same menu the bar does, anyone looking for a communal karaoke experience will be disappointed.

#3 Sneakeater

Sneakeater

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 61,527 posts

Posted 31 August 2018 - 07:52 PM

Oh, so it's like the Ichiran of Karaoke!


Bar Loser

MF Old

#4 Wilfrid

Wilfrid

    Advanced Member

  • Admin
  • PipPipPip
  • 84,321 posts

Posted 01 September 2018 - 12:07 AM

How many remember there was an eGullet karaoke night back in the day? Congee Village.

Long before I met Sneak.





Also tagged with one or more of these keywords: Korean, Gowanus