If it seems like all I've been doing lately is eat, that's cos that is all I've been doing. I'm kidding. Of course I do a few other necessary things like working, shopping, drinking ... but I have been indulging my appetite and stretching the limits of my Earnest Sewn jeans' waistband quite a bit. Last night, our pool league team dinner was at Boka, a Korean restaurant in St. Mark's Place (By the way, I use the words "our pool league team" loosely. I am more of a mascot than a team member.). We come here solely for the love of Bon Chon fried chicken—wings and drumsticks with skin cooked to an incredible crisp and flavored to be eye-wateringly spicy. I must admit that I am no Bon Chon expert and NYC may well be peppered with better Bon Chon spots, but Boka's version is pretty darn tasty and the location is really convenient since I always get hit with late night hunger pangs in that area. We also tried some bibimbap, bulgogi, and a tuna-avocado tartare, which were all pretty good. But the chicken was the highlight of the meal. I would recommend the wings over the drumsticks, as they're a lot more flavorful. And when the heat gets to be too much, there's a side dish of pickled radish that's pleasantly sweet and helps in calming down your raging tastebuds.
The main problem with this place, though, is the service. We've been here twice and both times the service was excruciatingly slow (I managed to go all the way from 86th Street to St. Mark's and I still made it to the table before the Bon Chon). And it's quite amazing really because it seems that servers and waiters are running up and down all the time, but they're just not getting much done. Hmm. Our friend Linda said last night, "If service was faster, we'd go here a lot more." I hope they shape up soon.
To end on a good note though, Boka offers a pretty sweet deal on the Happy Hour Front. From 4:30-7:30PM, you can get a pitcher of draft beer plus 6 Bon Chon wings for the price of $8. Not bad at all! But at the slooooow rate they churn out the wings, you might wanna order those wings ahead to make sure you get to eat more than 6 wings before Happy Hour ends!
Where: 9 Saint Marks Place, New York, NY