Much About Mokja Korean Eatery

Jeremy's rating: ★★★★☆

Korean food feels as if it was perfectly made for me — I love pickled vegetables, vinegar, and spice, so what's not to love? However, I'm slightly torn about Mokja. I'm giving it a rounded up four stars. The bimbimbap was very standard; however, the small plates and cocktails were amazing — as was the BBQ pork Jen ordered.

Jen's rating: ★★★★☆

I've never been the biggest fan of Korean flavors, mainly the pickled vegetables, but Mokja is close to changing my mind. With great happy hours (soju, anyone?), large tables for groups, and flavorful dishes (their BBQ dishes, I'm drooling thinking about them again), you can't lose with their savory meat dishes, especially the BBQ.

Where to Eat in Astoria | Korean Mokja | Brunch, Lunch | & Away We Went
Where to Eat in Astoria | Korean Mokja | Brunch, Lunch | & Away We Went
  I can't resist a Moscow Mule. I can  never  resist a Moscow Mule with soju.

I can't resist a Moscow Mule. I can never resist a Moscow Mule with soju.

Where to Eat in Astoria | Korean Mokja | Brunch, Lunch | & Away We Went

The other day, Jeremy and I spent an entire hour of our Saturday morning debating where we wanted to go for lunch (I've been boycotting the term "brunch" lately). Our indecisiveness got so bad that we forced ourselves to leave our apartment and decide on the go. After determining that we weren't craving any of our usual favorites, Mokja suddenly came out of Jeremy's mouth and it was an immediate agreement as a lightbulb lit up above both of our heads. 

We decided to sit in their summer outdoor seating, despite the light rainfall, as they had a large canopy to keep us dry. As per every meal at Mokja, they started us off with some pickled Korean appetizers (including kimchi and radishes), which Jeremy devoured within seconds (after photos of course). I'm not the biggest fan of the pickled taste so I sat out for those. However, I did throw my entire self into their clear miso soup, which eased us into the meal with lighter flavors.

I splurged on their Pork Belly BBQ dish (which ended up making for an incredible lunch the next day as well). The pork belly, topped with sesame seeds and scallions, was super tender and moist with the right amount of spicy without being too spicy. This was the showstopper. 

Jeremy opted for the classic bibimbap with squid as his protein choice. The veggies were super, super fresh; the squid was spicy and perfectly tender (not too chewy). Pro Tip: Be sure to add the tangy red sauce served on the side for just the perfect amount of flavor (a little lacking without it).  Otherwise, it hits the standard qualifications for a good bibimbap, but it was nothing mind-blowing. 

Tip: This is a good place to ask the staff for suggestions if you're stuck on what to order. 

Oh, and of course we can't end this post without talking about their Korean Fried Chicken Wings (that soy garlic flavoring is a winner). They're really good, super crispy, and still perfectly moist and tender; they are a good plate to share when eating with larger groups.  

More untraditional fusion dishes to try: Bibimbap burger and Kimchi Fries.

  The Pork Belly BBQ is served with a side of greens with some sort of paste and optional jalapeño (I opted for not) , so you could eat the pork belly as lettuce wraps. 

The Pork Belly BBQ is served with a side of greens with some sort of paste and optional jalapeño (I opted for not) , so you could eat the pork belly as lettuce wraps.