GAONNURI was featured in New York Post. Steve Cuozzo, a New York Post critic, wrote a review about his experience at GAONNURI. Thankfully, he mentioned he was distracted by our authentic Korean cuisine from the view. Check out what he said about GAONNURI.
“Gaonnuri’s story began 10 years ago when owner Andy Sung, an architect, was asked to design offices for a Korean bank on the 37th floor of 1250 Broadway.The view blew him away.
“I asked about putting a restaurant” on a vacant high floor, but the landlord wasn’t interested, he recalled.
South Korea-born Sung, who’s operated several delis but never a restaurant, didn’t give up his dream of a sky-high, “authentic” Korean eatery. And one with fresher air: “A lot of places have a smell” from so much tabletop barbecue. “It’s embarrassing,” he said.
Two years ago, Sung’s real estate broker told him that the tower’s new owners, Jamestown and Murray Hill Properties, were willing to relocate mechanical equipment on the 39th floor to elsewhere in the building.
“At the time, the walls were all concrete, 100 percent cinder block,” Sung says with a smile. He convinced the owners to sign a restaurant lease with him. They spent $2 million putting in windows on three sides — part of what Sung estimates as a total $5 million to $6 million opening cost.
Sung needs to fill a lot of seats to pay rent of more than $1 million a year. It’s been busy at lunch, but was near-empty one night last week.
The bustling block’s pa jun and bulgogi enthusiasts will need to warm to a dining room reached by elevator from the security-mad lobby of an office building that’s home to Visiting Nurse Service.
A street-level sign announces the restaurant. But I had to give my name at the desk for a dinner reservation. How will they handle walk-ins who just want a drink in the lounge? — a great way to check out the place while they work out the kinks.
And while the service is a lot friendlier than at 32nd Street’s rougher-edged joints, the block’s 24/7 crowd might find Gaonnuri a denatured experience, with downdraft grill ventilation to keep the air smoke-free.
But my first meal — scorching-hot squid bokkeum and a merrily bubbling seafood hot pot laden with giant shrimp, lobster, black cod, oysters, clams and mussels — was good enough to distract me from the view. For a minute.”