"You [mumble mumble] bowl of [low growly mumble]," said Greg.
"...Huh?" I leaned in to hear more clearly.
"You [juughfmumbl] bowl of [ssmmumblrMUMBLAH]!"
"You just [mmmumbrlr] bowl of [SUUHGUHDDUHHH]!"
"You just had a bowl of SATAN'S DIARRHEAAAA!"
So that's Greg, just being himself, invoking his most demonic voice (much like that of an angry wrestler) to inform me that our dish looked like the result of Satan dropping a deuce while blighted with unbalanced intestinal flora. His description wasn't far off.
The real name for Satan's Diarrhea is Dan Ho Bac Mul Jjim, sautéed seafood (squid, shrimp, clams, and maybe more) mixed with steamed sweet squash and slices of dduk, topped with a ring of mozzarella, sprinkled with chopped scallions, and smothered in a spicy gochujang-based sauce. Pray tell, where does such a delectable mélange of red chili-flavored sea life, cheese, and gourd come from? Korean restaurants that cater to a mostly inebriated crowd, in this case, Song 7.2 in the East Village.
But you know me; I do not inebriate. Because I respond with a face like this, sometimes with more scowling and less enthusiasm. Greg got a mug of beer, although judging from the streams of sweat flowing down the sides of his head and that his face was stuck with a look of blank discomfort, the alcohol didn't do much to ease the effects of the dish.
Not that you have to be drunk to eat this dish. I liked it fine, actually; it wasn't offensive, just a bit overwhelming. Heavy chunks of squash and chewy squid bits and rice cakes and all, semi-bound by mozzarella, coated in some taste bud-slashing spiciness. Would I get it again? Proooobably not. But it was good at the time. I rather like those Korean dishes where a bunch of seemingly mismatched stuff that you'd never think to combine—unless you were particularly desperate or drunk—is thrown together to make something hearty and satisfying, à la budae jjigae.
More enjoyable was the half-pound bulgogi burger, which is a great deal for only $7 with fries. I reviewed it on A Hamburger Today, aiming to debunk the "BEST BURGER IN NYC" claim, instead realizing that "burgers" flavored with onion, garlic, soy sauce, sugar, and sesame oil can't not taste like awesome.
One of the highlights of the night was when two waiters energetically sprung out of the kitchen with noisemakers while some sort of birthday song played over the speakers (nothing that memorable, I guess) for the party sitting across the room from us. Music blared, lights flickered, and there was a little too much forced excitement flowing through the room...but absolutely none from the gruff employee who stood in the back while flicking the lights on and off in the most stone-faced, unenthusiastic manner ever. Probably because he had done it countless times before. If only he had had a cigarette dangling from his mouth—that would've made it better.
I'd go back to Song 7.2 for the burger, some other platter consisting of a bunch of junk in a bowl, and to see Light Flicking Man in action.
'Surprise, It's Not My Birthday' at Arirang
Korean Food Round-Up: Stews and Noodles
A Week of Korea Food In Mah Belly, Starting with Arirang and Patbingsu
Kåre Week, Day 7: Banchan and Korean Tofu Stew at BCD
117 Second Avenue, New York, NY 10003 (at 7th Street; map)