Japanese-Happy St. Marks Place Gets a Korean Comer

'75 Kawasaki not pictured.Photo: Courtesy of Gama.


Last week, Chang Han, the bearded, ponytailed bon vivant behind Emo's uptown, brought his longtime chef Won Choi's Korean home cooking to his new spot, Gama, on St. Marks Place. He's given the former home of San Marcos a Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance makeover with decorations that include a suspended '75 Kawasaki, his mother's ceremonial Korean dresses, lotus etchings donated by a monk, his wife's pottery, and his kids' drawings. (Chang lives across the street and also owns the St. Marks Market.) The standouts on the bargain-priced 76-item menu are Choi's signature simmered cod in soy-and-garlic sauce and a light, spicy casserole that overflows with seastuffs (the meat version offers ham, pork belly, and hot dogs). In the front room, bargoers can enjoy Japanese sakes and Korean sojus as well as an herbal wine that promises 100 years of life to whoever imbibes it.

Gama, 12 St. Marks Pl., nr. Third Ave.; 212-475-7101.

Daniel Maurer