The barbecue pit burns brightly at each table in thissleekly designed SoHo spot, but along with traditional fare like bulgogiand kalbi, the menu offers dungeness crab in a spinach crepe, a bakedshrimp-clam custard served on the half shell, and beef carpaccio smearedwith a soybean-ginger-ginseng sauce. - William Grimes
Woo Lae Oak is at the upscale Westernized Korean forefront, bringing a genuinely Korean menu to those Americans who might be unwilling to brave the linguistic and cultural divide of the Little Korea dining scene further uptown. - Steven A. Shaw
I stopped in for a quick lunch and was greeted by a model-type waiter. I knew exactly what I wanted to order, the marinated miso cod. Woo Lae Oak always gives you the same sides: broccoli, bean sprouts, kimchi, and pan-fried slices of tofu, everything is normally seasoned and fresh. I took one bite of each side and had to politely spit it out in my napkin. Now don't get me wrong, I love ban chan (means side dish in Korean), but I was surprised the quality of the food had gone down at Woo Lae Oak, including the cod fish that i had ordered as my entree. The sides tasted as if they had been sitting in the refrigerator for a couple of days, not fresh at all. The broccoli and everything else tasted rotten and rubbery. And normally, Woo Lae Oak makes fresh sides daily. The cod dish wasn't jumping out at me either. The fish lay flat in the bowl with a wilted piece of radish over it (not crispy and healthy looking), and the sauce was too sweet. The service was great, the waiter felt bad and I'm not usually a fussy customer, but I had to let him know so he wouldn't be serving the sides to the rest of the customers throughout the evening.