Seafood and Kimchi at Sik Gaek

Dinner is never a dull moment at Sik Gaek. The Korean restaurant in Woodside is pretty famous for the Sannakji — live octopus — and yes, you can see where this is going.

Even if you’re dead set against having slimy tentacles squirming on a sizzling black plate in front of you, your neighbors at the next table might not share the same disdain. In fact, they might want to order the huge seafood platter with lobsters, crabs and octopus — all alive, of course. Go big or go home, right?

As you can tell, Sik Gaek is not for the faint-hearted. If you can handle the Sannakji, kudos to you! The squishy tentacles are sliced up, so technically, they're not alive (but they're still moving, though). They are coated in sesame oil so the slippery texture helps the tentacles to slide down your throat quite easily. After all, we all try to avoid choking on tentacles. But once you get past the initial fear, the freshness of it is overwhelming.

Time for Gangnam Style!
Investigating the Lure of the Asian Sandwich
Daily Eats: Momofuku Ssam Bar

Momofuku Ssäm Bar
Cuisine: Korean
Price Range: Moderate

East Village
207 Second Ave
(at 13th Street)
New York, NY 10003
(212) 254-3500

Momofuku Ssam Bar represents the second stage of David Chang’s restaurant evolution. Following the casual Noodle Bar and preceding the ultra exclusive, high-concept Momofuku Ko, Ssam Bar offers Chang’s signature eclectic cuisine at moderate prices. If you think you’ve heard Chang’s name before, you’re probably right. He’s been featured in several magazines over the past year including The New Yorker, and he was named Chef of the Year by Bon Appétit in ’07. All the press means the narrow, wood paneled Ssam Bar (which does not take reservations) is regularly packed with guests clamoring for a taste of Chang’s renowned cooking.

Restaurant Openings: Seoul Station

Seoul Station
81 Saint Marks Place
(at 1st Avenue)
New York, NY 10003
(212) 979-9300

This Korean “fast-food-like” restaurant in the East Village recently opened its doors. Seoul Station is run by first timers and is still waiting on their liquor license. They plan to serve domestic and imported beer as well as cinnamon and rice drinks. Their specials include a combo box that comes with brown or white rice, choice of two vegetables or pork dumplings, kimchi, kimchi stew and choice of meat/tofu for only $8.25.