KOJA GRILLE TEMPLE CAMPUS
I came across this and was wondering if this is at all decent. Most of the stuff on the TU Campus is pretty average if not lousy. Even the decent places have to dumb down in terms of things like garlic and hot sauce.
1600 N. Broad St. (Avenue North), 215-763-KOJA
Gene Sim, who first hooked Wharton students with his Koja lunch truck in 2003, is ready to tackle Temple with Koja Grille, opening on Bert Blatstein's Avenue North May 17. The approach: quick, healthy Korean that doesn't skimp on quality. Classic dishes like beef bulgogi and bibimbap are available; side dishes range from fried dumplings to several varieties of oh-so-essential kimchi. Bite This: "The Line" offers the chance to assemble a personalized plate — diners can choose a sauce to match their protein (steak, chicken, tofu) and grain (rice, wide rice noodle, soba noodle). "
If it's anything at all like the Koja at Penn (36th and Walnut), go for it. I really like that one although I can't eat there too often because the portions are too big for me to finish. The pork bulgogi is my favorite of the few dishes I've had - spicy and has sesame seeds. I keep on finishing the bulgogi whenever I order it even though it's really too much to eat at once. The included dumplings are frozen supermarket quality, the kimchi is also just ok. I had some kind of hot noodles there once which were pretty spicy. I've been meaning to try their kimchi chigae.
I haven't tried it yet, but I will try to get there soon. I work at Temple and am always looking for new lunch spots. There is a korean truck that is usually pretty good, but this looks like a great alternative.
Avenue North has brought some much needed variety to the Temple dining scene. The Noshery is quite good for sandwiches. I"ll report back on Koja after I've had a chance to check it out.
re: Hungryin theBurbs
Since I work closer to 12th street I never even know this "Avenue North" existed until I accidentally came across the entry on Koja (in the City Paper). If you go I would be interested to know what the prices are like (i.e. for Bimbap or an order of dumplings....or even that make your own plate option). I searched a while to see if they had an online menu, but I can't find it they do.
Also interested in the portion size. One thing that annoys me about the Vietnamese place on campus is the fact that they charge $5 or $6 for such huge portions. I would rather pay $3 or $4 for something half the size.
I walked by there today and it isn't open yet, though there was a sign on the door that said open soon. I saw people working inside and it looked about 90% finished. There is a menu posted in the window. Most of the dishes (bibimbop, bulgogi, etc.) were around $6 to $7. A few things were more or less.
Have you checked out the Korean/Japanese truck? I has moved around a bit because of all the construction. Last time I looked for it (admittedly a while ago) it was on Montgomery between 12th and 13th. They are very good, but very slow.
I'm pretty sure Koja Grille is the expansion of the Koja truck at Penn? Anyway, I went there the day that it opened (Friday, June 1) and absolutely loved it. I'm going to put up a review in a few minutes...