Calligraphy-bedecked wallpaper and silky seat cushions lend a regal touch to Bonjoo. This dimly lit handsome joint jazzes up its traditional menu with Italian and Chinese accents. Pajon, a scallion pancake often called Korean pizza, gets the Neapolitan treatment by being browned in an oven with mozzarella and tomatoes. More traditional is made-from-scratch kim bop, seaweed-wrapped rice, beef and sautéed spinach. Well-tempered sweetness shines forth in many of the meaty entrees, including ginseng galbi, stewed beef short ribs, and pork tang soo, a surprisingly light version of sweet and sour pork studded with kiwi. Note for the budget conscious: You have to ask for kim chee and there aren’t any free side dishes. But fried banana slices with vanilla ice cream should console you.
107 First Ave
|Cross street:||between 6th and 7th Sts|
|Opening hours:||Mon–Thu, Sun 4:30pm–1am; Fri, Sat 4:30pm–2am.|
|Transport:||Subway: F to Lower East Side–Second Ave; L to First Ave|
|Price:||Average main course: $14. AmEx, Disc, MC, V|