Food for Thought: Koko

New to Food For Thought? Here’s the rundown:

For a modest-sized city of around 30,000, Ithaca has an impressive restaurant collection. And since Cornell is a significant portion of that population, it makes sense to review all the options within walking distance from campus. From Waffle Frolic to CTB to RPCC brunch, I am determined to sample all the goods our lovely campus and surrounding Collegetown + Commons has to offer before I graduate.

 

Food for Thought is my weekly review, including pictures, menu prices, and of course, my honest opinions.

 

The breakdown:

 

  1. The Food: pictures + descriptions + ratings

  2. The Thoughts: A more comprehensive review of the restaurant, including comments on the service, the wait time, etc.

  3. Conclusion: A simple summary and “Would I come back?”

Lastly: If you! want! me! to review something for you! Please submit a request to [email protected] because I love excuses for eating food and giving my unerring opinions on said food.

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This week, I walked a whole 20 yards across Dryden to none other than Koko, a self-described “casual storefront eatery serving up traditional Korean dishes, including lunch boxes.”

The Food:

 

Exhibit A: The appetizer I order just about every single time. Exhibit B, also a usual of mine, Bibim Bap with tofu. 

 

1) Red Sauce Chicken: $10.99

  • Taste: 3.5/5
  • Value: 4/5

 

2) Bibim Bap: $10.99

Chicken, tofu, calamari or seafood with assorted vegetables, egg, and rice served with spicy paste on the side

  • Taste: 3.5/5
  • Value: 4/5

 

The Thoughts:

As you have probably realized by now, I’ve been to Koko a lot. Now, my knowledge of Korean food is severely limited and I have very little to go on outside of our humble offerings here in Collegetown, but judging by the crowd I encounter every time I set foot in this place, I’d say it’s not bad. I’d call the prices mid-range — rumor has it many Collegetown restaurants have been downsizing portions lately, but I haven’t had an issue with my orders here.

 

If you’re wondering what else I order when I’m here, it’s typically the Budae Jigae, Ja Jang Myun, or any variation of Bibim Bap (yes, I know, I’m so adventurous).

 

I’ve grown pretty accustomed to the crowd, but to a newcomer, it may seem like the place is chronically understaffed. When there aren’t students around to run the orders, everything slows down tenfold, as I learned over the summer. It’s much harder to get anyone’s attention for things like an extra pair of chopsticks or a refill of your water. Right now, however, is peak business season, and the extra student workers means seating is as fast as they can manage and service is quick, if not always consistent.

 

In the weeks to come, I definitely look forward to comparing this place with the other Korean restaurants in Ithaca!

 

Summary: It’s not the best, but it’s popular for a reason.

 

Would I come back? I don’t break habits that easily.