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“Delicious Korean Food in the Heart of Gowanus, Brooklyn”
Review of Insa

Ranked #271 of 5,459 Restaurants in Brooklyn
Restaurant details
Reviewed 19 February 2016

Went to Insa, the new Korean restaurant in Gowanus this week with a few friends. What struck me first was the beautifully simple decor. Lots of wood - wood floors, walls, and long wood tables with barbecue plates built in. Clean, minimal, yet still cozy. The staff was warm and friendly and answered our questions about the restaurant and cuisine. We started by sharing a plate of Tteokbokki, which is a tasty mix of spicy rice cakes, fish cakes and a soft boiled egg in a tangy sauce. Then we each got the Bibimbap which is a mix of vegetables, rice, Gochujang sauce topped with a fried egg. You can choose to have it with tofu or bulgogi, a kind of beef. We all opted for tofu. This was a wonderfully warm and filling dish to have on a cold night. It’s brought out in a very hot stone bowl, so it stays hot from start to finish and the rice and other bits of goodies caramelize in the bottom of the bowl. Along with your entrée, you are also brought out tiny bowls of Banchan, little tasty side dishes ranging from black soy beans to kimchi. And they keep coming…All in all, a wonderful evening. We hope to go back to try one of their 5 karaoke rooms where you can order food and drinks for your party.

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Thank WayfaringStranger7
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Reviews (24)
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20 - 24 of 24 reviews

Reviewed 5 February 2016

Left here buzzing on the tasty food and drinks- didn't make it into the main dining room due to prior commitments but the bar/lounge area had atmosphere and comfy seats to spare....small plates were delish- drinks reasonable and really well made. Karaoke rooms looked off the hook!!!

Thank Michael F
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 4 February 2016 via mobile

came here straight off the plane and in need of some food and drink. excellent pale ale - braven black pale ale. very nice dumplings and superb fried chicken in a sticky bbq sauce to start. hello crunch. recommended. bbq wise we went for the squid and the pork belly. the pork belly was a little disappointing to be honest. With hindsight I think we would go for the beef short rib which was suggested. friendly staff and karaoke rooms in the back if you get excited. pretty good intro to brooklyn life.

Thank oliP21
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 28 January 2016

Insa's pedigree is solid with the chef having held fort at The Good Fork in Red Hook with her husband for ten years. Their quasi-Korean restaurant has now led to the "Full Monty" -- an authentic Korean barbeque place with exotic tastes and combinations of different fish, meats and vegetables. The setting is incredible and makes you feel at home almost instantly. It seats over 75 at communal table with built-in barbeque pits, but the room is so well designed that you think you are in a cozy alcove by yourselves.

You have to have the scallion and shrimp pancake along with the Bronzini to start. The shrimp and short ribs barbeque make for a great follow-on. There are nicely-appointed, karaoke rooms in the back where you can and sing to your heart's content. And the separate bar in the front looks like the bordello run by Sally Stanton, the famous, high-toned bagnio madam from San Francisco.

Insa is a fun experience and the place has great taste - in food and in decor.

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Thank Randernyc
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 25 January 2016

Beautiful building. Rustic, refurbished, exposed wooden beam roof - maybe 20 feet high. Big picnic style tables with benches (no seat backs) and a stainless steel round BBQ in middle. Back section of space has 4 or 5 Karaoke rooms - that you can rent by the hour for parties below and above ten people.
There is also a very nice looking bar off to the left as you enter with a separate street entrance. Dark, crowded but elegant, not dive-y at all. No television.
Insa takes reservations.
The food is good - but the wait staff wasn't super helpful. We were a party of six and ask for help ordering. The assistance we got was far from inspired.
The fried chicken at Insa is spicy and delicious. Best thing we ate all night.
Dumplings - that are the same as the delicious ones served at The Good Fork in Red Hook - were good but seemed as thought they had been prepared a while ago. Not steamy and hot.
The bee bim bop was good.
The BBQ which was suppose to be the big centerpiece item was very small portions - prepared in a somewhat haphazard fashion. We had the beef short ribs (good), pork belly (think bacon) and shrimp (fine). All were tasty but didn't impress, unmemorable. The condiments came in small bowls, without explanation, and the table felt incredibly crowded. Didn't seem to be any vegetables on the menu - and the room can get smoky at times with all the BBQ'ing at the 20 to 30 picnic bench tables in the room.
All in all it was a fun night, always neat being in the hip new restaurant, but the food wasn't all that compelling. Restaurant can be pretty loud.
Maybe if we had been big Karaoke fans?

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Thank Oskar-Brooklyn
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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