Thursday, May 24, 2012

City Paper reviews Aseoma.

The Pittsburgh City Paper visited Aseoma, sort-of a Koreanish fusion restaurant on Murray Avenue in Squirrel Hill that specializes in Korean tacos. Restaurant reviews are often painful to read, but here's an excerpt:
[S]ince Aseoma is a full-fledged restaurant, Korean tacos were not all we had. Aseoma has extended its fusion efforts in several directions. For instance, it offers wings and sliders that, like the tacos, are made with distinctively Korean components. Rounding out the menu are some more authentically Asian street foods, such as dumplings and seafood cakes, and a selection of noodle- and rice-based entrees in a variety of Asian styles, from Chinese stir-fries to Thai-inspired curries.
I've been looking forward to this place for a while, especially if the fried 만두 is as good as the pictures make it seem. (Before you fixate too much on the "Korean" in "Korean tacos," though, here's an amusing blog post on this sort of overhyped "Korean" food.) Aseoma is next door to Green Pepper, a trendy but expensive Korean place that opened last year. As I wrote in March, there's almost a little Koreatown growing in Squirrel Hill: there's a small grocery, a Korean bakery, and a pair of Korean restaurants.

Before Aseoma last year, the space was occupied by Chopsticks, another Asian restaurant that advertised its daily specials in foreign languages. For a long time, though, I figured it was just a front for some low-level Chinese gang that ran the local massage parlor: the windows were (and still are) very darkly tinted, and I never saw any customers in or around.

Chopsticks in 2008, doing its best to hide from customers.

This City-Paper review is positive, and other reviews online are pretty good, too, although I've heard talk of frustration among friends of Green Pepper that another Korean place opened right next to it. That part of town has had a lot of turnover recently---recent departures include a Libyan restaurant, a Middle Eastern restaurant, and an Argentinean Cafe, while two new bakeries and a curry place are among the additions---so we'll see how much staying power Aseoma has.