Jump to content

Recommended Posts

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.

Link to post
Share on other sites

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.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

  • Create New...