Atoboy (New York, NY)

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One thing I love about being a “foodie” is experiencing new foods along with different cultures.  Atoboy is a Korean restaurant that offers family-style cuisines in three shareable dishes of your choice.  I love the concept of “sharing food”.  If you’re at a restaurant with a group of people, there’s a benefit of ordering a bunch of dishes because you get to try a little of everything without being full.  I always tell people if they are fortunate to have friends, to make sure they share stories around a great meal.  Well, I lied. I never said ANYTHING remotely like that, I’m more of a “f*** people, they’re weird anyways”, kind of person.  But the “share stories around a great meal” sounds commercialized, so we’ll go with that.


It took me longer than normal to find this restaurant because the exterior looks like you need to knock on the door and give a password before they let you in.  The restaurant doesn’t have a big sign that says “Atoboy” or even “Restaurant”, it’s literally just a door with no windows stuck between a row of other buildings.  It would’ve been more cool if you were to knock on the door and someone on the other side opens a slot asking you for a password.  But, sadly, life isn’t that cool.


I was able to order six dishes from this restaurant.  Items from Beef tartar to Mackerel. I’ll start off with the Mackerel.  It was a pretty simple dish that only included Green Chili, Radishes, and Scallions.  I wasn’t too impressed with this dish as it was literally just a piece of fish with a huge scallion on top.  The fish was sweet and the green chili wasn’t too spicy, but I didn’t like this dish at all.  I’m not sure what else to say about this dish, but good thing the other dishes made up for it.


The second dish that was ordered was the Beef Tartar. It consisted of Lardo, Mustard Green, and Myungran.  This dish was okay, but it wasn’t my favorite either.  There were a lot of flavors which consisted of sweet and savory, but the Beef TarTar looked like a ball of hamburger meat on top of sauce.  Yeah, I’m not going to go any further with this dish.


The third dish that was ordered was the Cabbage.  Finally! A dish that I actually love.  It consisted of Mussels, Potato, and Yondu.  The cabbage was sweet and still had a crunch to it.  They used a lot of pepper but it worked well with the sweetness of the mussels.  Even though the dish had potatoes in it, you could barely taste it.  This dish was made more for vegetarians, so if you’re in the mood for a great veggie dish than this is the one for you.


The fourth dish that was ordered was the Sunchoke.  It consisted of Oyster Mushrooms, Black Truffle, and Oranges.  I love mushrooms, especially oyster mushrooms because they have such a great earthy taste to them.  If you mix that with black truffle and oranges you have one of the best vegetable dishes you’ll ever have in your life.  There were also potato slices in this dish, but you could barely taste it as the oranges and mushrooms over-powered them.  I could see myself eating this dish with a Tomahawk Steak, but sadly, they didn’t have steak at this place.


The fifth dish that was ordered was the Yellowtail.  It was five thin pieces of yellow tail, surrounded by Yuza, Mustard, and Tuna Powder.  The yellowtail was sweet, but maybe too sweet for me with the Yuza incorporated into the dish.  I would’ve love to see some rice come with this specific dish, but it was more of a sashimi than anything.


The last dish that was ordered was the Octopus.  You all know how I feel about Octopus by now.  I absolutely love it.  The texture, the chew, and the look of it drives my insane.  If a restaurant has Octopus, chances are I’ll order it.  This octopus was cut in about 10-15 different small pieces and included Kimchi, Chorizo, and Parsley.  The Kimchi is salted and fermented vegetables, most commonly used in napa cabbage and Korean radishes, so it worked well with the protein of the Octopus.  This was the only dish of the evening I really enjoyed, but I had high expectations for this restaurant so I’m pretty disappointed with my experience for the evening.


Overall, this restaurant is a pass.  I don’t give a pass on many places but this one is a hard pass.  I didn’t like the taste, the presentation, and the overall theme of the restaurant.  Something tells me NOT to go to restaurants that have no windows attached.


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