Pastries. I love em. Like, a lot. I’ve tried them from lots of different countries and cultures. However, when it comes to Korean pastries, I really can’t say that I’ve had any. Korean savory food, of course, yes, and, I love it, but was unfamiliar with the Korean world of pastry. So, I needed to check out BESFREN in K-Town, NYC


Along with their own in-house made classic Korean pastries, with a modern twist, you’ll find some classic pastry items like chocolate chip cookies, and items from local vendors.


Now, these guys have been getting a lot of Insta-love for their Triple Chocolate Cookie, so, I had to see what all the hype was about. First off, it’s large and in charge, pretty much the only way I like my cookies. There are three variations of chocolate chunks, hence, the triple part. Now, the cookie is super delicious, but, I wouldn’t go so far to say it’s anything ground breaking, it tastes like a good chocolate chip cookie. What they got really right is the great consistency, the edges are slightly crisp, the center is soft and chewy, and the chocolate chunks are rich and melty. So, while it’s not the most unique thing there, for it’s size, at only $2.50, it’s certainly worth getting. 


Then, I went with something more unique to the shop, I got their Jasmine Green Tea Roll Cake. Visually, it’s really pretty and definitely photogenic (because, in this age, if you didn’t take a picture of it, it never happened). The cake is super moist (terrible word) and somewhat spongy, with a light green tea flavor. The center is where you’ll get a much more rich and strong green tea flavor, with the consistency of a buttercream. All together, it’s lovely and delicious, and has a feeling of decadence, yet still light enough so that you can scarf down that mega cookie. 

The Shorts:
Location: 315 5th Avenue, NYC
The Long and Short: Would I go back? Yes. It’s a great little spot to grab a coffee and pastry, with a hand full of cafe tables along floor-to-ceiling glass windows. Sweet treats and a view.
Would I recommend it? Yes. The items and flavors are unique, yet still very accessible, so it’s definitely worth a try. 


Do Hwa


Korean BBQ? Yes, please. I really do love Korean food, and, while K-Town does have a number of options, I really like Do Hwa in the West Village. 


This authentic Korean restaurant offers two types of tables, regular, of course, and grilling tables where you can cook your own food. I’m always up for a cooking experience, but, I figured I’d let Do Hwa cook for me this time. To start, I had the Seng Sun Jun (bite size cod fish in light egg batter). These were really nice. They were light, flaky, with a thin layer of the egg batter just holding the lumps of cod together. The sauce is really clutch for this dish too, a bit of saltiness, a bit of sweetness that balances out the mild flavor of the cod. 


Then for an entree, I ordered Ojingo Bibimbop (rice, 7 seasoned vegetables, topped with spicy sautéed squid and sliced chilies in a hot stone bowl). I’ve had bibimbop plenty of times, but I’ve never had it served with spicy squid, so, naturally, I had to try that variation. And, I’m certainly glad I did. This dish itself is pretty hot, both temperature and spice wise, but I do enjoy a spicy dish. The veggies are fresh, and have a combination of textures from the soft shredded carrots, to the crunchy sprouts. The squid is tender and has that pleasant chewy texture, which is also a nice contrast from the crispness of the veggies. And then, of course, the best part is found at the bottom of the hot pot, the crispy rice.

The Shorts:
Name: Do Hwa
Location: 55 Carmine Street, NYC
The Long and Short: Would I go back? Yes, and I might just have to try out the grill tables.
Would I recommend it? For sure. The experience is great, the food comes out quickly, and it really is delicious Korean cuisine.