Woo Lae Oak
148 Mercer Street
New York, NY 10012
Phone: (212) 925-8200
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Located in SoHo, Woo Lae Oak is a long skinny place, the kitchen does not go on for a mile, but it does take up the left half of the room. On the right there are seats set into the wall and table with a grill, so food can be cooked at your table. Minimal decoration very distinguished looking place. Cloth napkins with dark chop sticks. Fork and spoon were provided on request. We started with an appetizer, O Ree Mari (wrapped cut rolls) pictured here, the dark on the plate is plum sauce, very tasty.
For the entrée Kasey decided to go with some authentic Korean Barbeque and got Dae Ji Bo Sot (spicy pork tenderloin) while I decided to go with the Kal Bi Jim (tender beef short rib simmered in sake ginger soy glaze served off the bone with kabocha squash) picture on the left. For the life of me I don’t know why I ordered that, I don’t like ribs. Maybe I was thinking, its Korean, so maybe it will taste different. Nope. So even though it was very tender and the sauce was good, I didn’t like it, the meat tasted like rib meat. I did snag a piece of Kasey’s pork, it was very good, nicely spiced. The table is set up so you can cook it yourself, but if you are not confident enough to, they will cook it in the kitchen.
Dessert for me was a Jalapeño Daiquiri, jalapeño peppers with lime and rum, nice thing to do to jalapeños, Kasey had coconut ice cream. I can’t tell you if it was good since I am allergic to coconut, but it was served in a bowl made of ice.
It was expensive, however, the traditional rice dishes are about half the price of the meat dishes, which is what we had. (Dinner menu) Dinner for us was around $100, but I had a coupon from Open Table so I only paid half that.
I doubt this is a place we would come back to, mainly because of the price and location, the food and atmosphere and service were excellent.