Momofuku Ssam Bar and Grom

By grace.g.yang · May 15, 2007
Under: Cheap Eats,Desserts,K-town,Lunch,UWS

On Saturday, I went to check out Momofuku Ssam Bar in the East Village, one of David Chang’s restaurants serving delicious Asian-inspired burritos. Chris and I went to Momofuku (the original) on our first date and I wasn’t IMPRESSED, but I thought their grits and BBQ buns were good (although extremely expensive for the BBQ buns – $8 for two -especially because Fei Dai Bakery in Chinatown delivers the same thing for 85 cents). I heard a lot of good things about the Ssam Bar, so we decided to check it out.

The day was really beautiful (a little breezy but very sunny) and we walked into an empty restaurant, which was great since we were both starving (although strange, considering it was around 1PM and the last time we went to Momofuku, it was completely packed to the gills). Anyway, Momofuku Ssam Bar reminded me of an asian Chipotle – you can pick what kind of protein you want (berkshire pork, DUH), the starch (burrito, just rice, nothing at all), and the toppings you want:

I ordered the original ssam, which includes berkshire pork, rice, kimchee sauce, edamame, and shiitake mushrooms all wrapped in a nice burrito:

The burrito (or ssam) was definitely delicious and I felt like it was more healthy than eating at Chipotle (maybe because of the edamame and the shiitake mushrooms?). One downside – berkshire pork is REALLY unhealthy and I picked my burrito out of the reynolds wrap. I was halfway through my burrito when I noticed that a bunch of grease was dripping out of my burrito…mixed with the kimchee sauce. It was not a pretty site, especially because Chris didn’t undo his reynolds wrap and realized he was eating all the grease that wasn’t able to drip out of his burrito. I’d go there again, but I’d definitely watch my intake of the grease and maybe air it out or something before eating it.

After our Momofuku Ssam trip, I headed to the dentist to get my crown (it’s so pretty!) and then we headed to Grom, the new gelato store on the Upper West Side (straight from Italy!). When we walked up from 72nd street, we saw the line out the door and we were prepared for the long wait. It didn’t take that long (only 15 minutes, which isn’t bad for gelato, especially since I read so many great reviews about it). We decided on the luna rossa (the flavor of the month – raspberry with cream) and chocolate. A large was freaking $9 AND it was barely the size of my fist (something I was warned about…but I was also told that good things come in small packages, so I wasn’t too worried). A shot of the gelato:

The luna rossa was okay and the chocolate wasn’t that great. Actually, I thought the chocolate tasted exactly like the hot chocolate from City Bakery – good at first but then you feel like your mouth gets really dry from the chocolatey taste. Another con of Grom – they don’t accept credit cards yet (their machine was broken) and the guy working the cash register didn’t know how to count change (I swear, it took him a good minute to figure out how to give me my change back). Chris said maybe he was straight from Italy (where the gelato is from) and couldn’t figure out the change. Possible, but don’t you think if it’s extremely packed, they would put someone from the US at the register? I don’t think I’m going to go back anytime soon (especially since it’s so out of the way for me). I’ll stick to my Pinkberry and sample at Whole Foods Il Labatorio Gelato 🙂

After Grom, we headed to K-town for sol lung tang and Pinkberry (twice in one weekend!). I’m still deciding on the ice cream maker (wouldn’t it be SO much easier if I could make my own ice cream?!)

On a side note, congrats to Ariel, Josh, Elizabeth, Pam, and everyone else that graduated from school over the weekend!

Momofuku Ssäm Bar on Urbanspoon

Grom Gelato on Urbanspoon

Reader Comments

That chocolate gelato looks kind of like the diarrhea that I took a picture of this morning.

Written By Joshua on May 15th, 2007 @ 8:53 am

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