Maru Korean Lounge Restaurant and Karaoke
11 WEST 32ND STREET
3RD AND 4TH FLOOR
32nd street otherwise known as “k-town” is just one short city block of Korean restaurants, shops, and bars. But what this street lacks in length, it makes up in height. I’m just now discovering the hidden little businesses up in the high rise buildings that line up this strip. Among these is the newly opened Maru (but the awning on the door says Yellowstone). The address is 11 West 32nd Street and you take an elevator to the 3rd floor for the main restaurant / lounge bar. On the 4th floor is an additional bar and lounge space along with private karaoke rooms. A colorful waterfall flows down a plexiglass wall as a backdrop to the long staircase that connects the two floors. Maru was 6 months in the making and the design and architecture work of Matthew Kelly MKDREAMDESIGN.com. It’s a futuristic lounge with open spaces, and artfully blends elements of Eastern and Western design with its use of translucent plexiglass, bold hardwood floors, along with soft elements of white rocks and white translucent screens that slice up private spaces for lounging. An enormous suspended bell hangs over a large open space that seats large crowds with 2 walls made off abacus-like molded plastic beads. Maru very well reminds me of some of the upscale lounges I’ve visited out in Beijing. I guess whats missing is the heavy smoke from the party goers and the throbbing beat of punk or Asian pop tunes. What’s impressive is the large full service kitchen that doubles as a bar on the 3rd floor as they provide a full menu of Asian cuisine. We came more for the opening and to have a drink than for the food but I ended up trying 3 of the grilled skewers. One was mushrooms wrapped in bacon, another was pieces of unagi eel, and finally marinated beef wrapped in a tofu skin. These were served with a spicy dipping sauce and a raw egg sauce. They were all delicious. Our friends also ordered the calamari and salmon dumplings and were impressed. Today was the Grand Opening Party and as you would expect there were still a few kinks being worked out. Although our waiter made a few mistakes it was totally understandable and he was extremely apologetic. I’m sure they’ll work everything out soon. I would definitely come back to hang out here for a few drinks with friends or after many many many more drinks, crank out a few tunes in the Karaoke room on the 4th floor that features large plasma flat screens and white leather seats.