I first heard about Thursday Kitchen a couple of years ago. The internet was all abuzz about the new East Village restaurant that was serving up nostalgia-inspiring cocktails in Capri Sun-style pouches, complete with light-up ice cubes. So of course, I promptly wrote the place off as Instagram bait and thought nothing more of it — until one fateful day when I ended up wandering down Ninth Street, a visiting friend in tow. Cold and out of ideas, I ushered him inside, planning to grab one round of silly drinks while I formulated our next move.
Then, we checked out the menu. The selection of small plates was like nothing we’d ever seen, weaving together Korean and Spanish influences in mind-boggling combinations. We ordered solidly half the dishes to start, stopping only at the gentle prompting of our waitress, who assured us we could always add more. And after one bite of the Lucky Noodle, we knew we’d have to.
The handmade noodles, covered in spicy ground beef and topped with a bright, yogurt-dressed fennel salad, ended up being our favorite. Like, to the point that my friend has texted me several times since to reminisce about it. But honestly, everything we tried—from the Parmesan-heavy edamame dumplings to the alarmingly addicting Korean popcorn chicken—was a delight. And yes, that includes the cocktails I was so quick to judge. Turns out that the fruity, soju-based beverages are the perfect counterpart to the rich food offerings. Consider this my mea culpa.