Turntable, a second-floor Koreatown hideaway specializing in retro vinyl and Korean fried chicken, has opened a second location (its first at street level) in Alphabet City. Chef Lee Jun told us that the restaurant will be closed tonight while they put some final tweaks on the slightly steampunk decor, but starting Tuesday night they’ll be back in business, serving their signature wings while a DJ spins from the owner’s substantial collection of vinyl from the ’50s on up. (Last time we went to the K-town location, we heard a lot of Joy Division, Smiths, Cure, and New Order.)
Located at the corner of Avenue B and Fourth Street, this outpost of Turntable offers just beer and wine (no rum-loaded “Obama bombs” here), but adventurous drinkers still get the chance to try traditional Korean drinks like bokbunja (“it tastes almost like wine, but it’s more fruity and has a little less alcohol,” said Jun) and makkoli, a rice alcohol that’s “a little weird, but it’s really good mixed with Sprite—a little sweet and sour and creamy.” Or, you know, you can just order a $40 “beer tower.”
The real stars of the show are the twice-fried crispy chicken wings in mild soy garlic or spicy sauce. All food is available to go, and in the future they plan on delivering locally within the immediate neighborhood.
Other things they’ll be incorporating down the line within the next month or two: the full dinner menu, which includes seafood pasta ($12), kimchi fried rice ($9) and Jun’s personal favorite, the braised short ribs ($18), cooked for ten hours on low heat.
And brunch from noon to 3:30 p.m. every Friday, Saturday and Sunday. Their current hours are 6 p.m. to midnight (last call for kitchen orders at 11:15 p.m.).
Jun went to culinary school in Korea and moved to the U.S. seven years ago; his first job in New York City was at the original Turntable, and he branched out to work at restaurants like Barn Joo, David Burke Townhouse and Atrium DUMBO before returning to Turntable as chef at the new location.
Check out their appetizers and beer menu below:
Turntable Retro Bar & Restaurant, 58 Avenue B, at E. 4th St., East Village