Thursday Kitchen: A Prelude To The Weekend
Just within the perimeter of the East Village, Thursday Kitchen celebrates the uncertainty and excitement of my second favorite day of the work week: Thursday! Since July 2016, Thursday Kitchen has been serving small Korean plates with Spanish and French influences in a fun and casual setting.
Most of the menu is very reasonably priced at $9 to $13, where everything is meant to be shared with the rest of your party. Depending on the size and hunger of your party, you should aim to get about 3-5 dishes per person.
On the menu, you'll find fun and imaginative dishes like the "not so plain-tain", which is a pan-seared sweet plantain with Korean chimichurri, honey ricotta, roasted pistachio, dried cranberries, and crispy plantain crumbles. You might also be interested in their Korean Popcorn Chicken that comes doused in a sweet and spicy sauce then topped with black sesame crumbles. The food reminds me of Take31, which is one of my favorite Korean restaurants in the city.
The drinks are chill too. Within its first few weeks of operation, Thursday Kitchen got a lot of great press thanks to its drinks menu. They have a series of Capri-Thursday soju cocktails that come in little caprisun-like pouches. They even add some sort of glowing device within the drink because.. why not? It's great. Try one out!
The service is lively and (tries to be) helpful. But, I had one experience where a server was making too many (awkward) jokes, one of which was about us taking photos of the food. We're very used to receiving strange comments from other patrons but not usually from the servers.
When I visit a restaurant for the first time, I ask for recommendations on the menu. Almost always, their recommendations are SOLID. Unfortunately, I can't say that Thursday Kitchen's servers have the best judgement. I read the NY Times article by Ligaya Mishan and I had the same experience where the server would oversell the food.
Overall, I think that Thursday Kitchen is still a work in progress. I'm excited to see what they have lined up in the future but right now I don't love it. I checked the menu again and it seems like some of the items that I didn't like during my second visit are no longer on the menu, which is a good sign. I'm planning to visit again soon to see if the food quality has improved!
Let's start with one of the best dishes we had. The Korean Popcorn Chicken was delicious. The breading wasn't too thick and it was intriguingly sweet and spicy. It was topped with Black Sesame Crumbles, which were a little too easily overlooked.
This dish was delicious though. I would 100% order it again. [$10 USD]
The Egg of Busan was pretty depressing. Sorry!! The egg was placed on a Corn Tortilla along with Soy Mayo, Confit Tomatoes, Nori, And Roasted Pumpkin Seeds. Honestly, what was going on here? Our waiter recommended that we order this one. I'm not sure why. [$8 USD]
Thursday Kitchen's Mushroom dish was a little better. It came with Sautéed Oyster Mushrooms with a Poached Egg and a Truffle Infused Kabayaki Sauce. The sweet soy sauce-based Kabayaki Sauce was interesting but probably a little too sweet given that everything else in the dish was directed to be a little more delicate, light, savory, and nutty. [$10 USD]
Above, we have the Pork Gratin. It came with Braised Pork Shoulder with a Peanut-Coconut Sauce, Pickled Vegetables, Crispy Rice, and Mixed Cheese. On paper, it sounds delicious but when it arrived, it was kind of bad. It was way too oily and I have a huge tolerance and love for oily foods.
Again, not too sure what was going on with this dish. [$12 USD]
The Soft Shell Crab had too much batter. It was almost like a corn dog but instead of a hot dog, there was crab. Overall, the taste actually wasn't too bad. I liked the wasabi remoulade. [$11 USD]
The Ugly Potato was alright. It was crispy but a little dry. It was also topped with Feta Cheese and BBQ Sauce. [$8 USD]