I will always be a sucker for any place with a sign out front advertising the existence of La Colombe coffee within. Upon further inspection, a cheap Korean lunch menu exists at this small place that is the more formal restaurant Take31 in the evening. The front space has been transformed mornings and evenings by a group of artistic folks from SVA, FIT, and Parsons, serving good coffees and the aforementioned abbreviated lunch menu.
Take a look at what is on offer on wall-mounted clipboards or on the counter, place your order and pay, and sit down and wait to have your name called. The space is comfortable (not counting the consistent cold breeze that was hitting me from the window), and wifi even accommodates those who want to stick around longer over multiple cups.
Veering from standard Korean hits like bibimbop and bulgogi, I ordered a couple interesting hybrids that seemed far more warming on this cold day. All the rice dishes here seem to be served in large teacups, upping the cutesy factor. My favorite of the meal was the nice to meat ball ($7, below), a lightly sauced group of eight or so small meatballs with parmesan cheese. The meat and sauce are nicely spiced and rich, and the rice is deeper than expected. One of these bowls is probably a pretty filling meal, while two was just kind of dumb.
Putting a current trend in a cup is the kimchi taco ($7, below), which leaves out the tortilla and also puts this over rice with a fried egg on top. I imagined liking this more inside of a tortilla though, with some fresh lime squeezed on top and maybe a green salsa. Regardless, the meaty saucy dish did grow on me and the ratio of sauce to rice is better than with the meatball dish.
I ordered another cup of coffee to do some writing, the music changed from slow jazz to more upbeat R&B, and the place emptied of its young and hip lunch clients, slowing down into mid-afternoon.
Don't miss out on taking a look around at the various LEGO installations, some which are actually built into the walls.