danji, located in the heart of hell’s kitchen, is described on its website as a 36 seater, korean tapas place. the interior of the jewel-sized restaurant features communal tables in the front and a few intimate tables in the back. the space is white-washed, giving a light, airy and modern feeling with a few traditional korean home accessories sprinkled here and there.
the menu, ingeniously tucked away in a slight drawer underneath our table, lists 10 traditional korean dishes on one side and another 10 “modern” korean-influenced dishes on the other. we were getting a bit of that david chiang / koji taco truck vibe. all plates are tapas portioned. we ordered 6 (3 from the korean-influenced section, and 3 from the traditional) to share between the two of us.
the pajeon (or korean pancake) was by far my favorite of the evening. they make it extremely thin and crisp. far better than anything i’ve ever had in and around 32nd streeet & broadway . that said, their pajeon is also about 1/3rd of the size of the ones served in Koreatown at about the same price. i didn’t mind so much, but can see how someone expecting more food / better value might be taken aback by the portion sizes of all their dishes in general.
we also ordered a salad with a yogurt perilla dressing but i forgot to snap the picture.
all in, danji is a cute little place to go with a few friends. food well-done and thoughtful — some of it tastier and better executed than koreatown (you also won’t emerge smokey and smelling like bbq) and definitely a notch above the korean places located in west village and soho. that said, danji serves tapas portioned plates, so adjust expectations accordingly.
346 West 52nd Street (bet 8th & 9th Ave)
New York, New York 10019
Mon-Thu: 12-3pm; 5:30 pm – Midnight
Fri-Sat: 12-3pm (Fri only); 5:30 pm – 1 am
Reservations accepted for parties of 6 or more only.