Joayo d’Assas: Finally, Spicy Korean Food (gasp) in Paris

Squid and pork stone bowl.

Woopwoopwoop! Finally a Korean restaurant in Paris that is not afraid of coming at you full-on with authentic spiciness. The French are notoriously wimps when it comes to heat in their food, and many “ethnic” restaurants adapt their dishes to the local habitudes. But I am TOTALLY AGAINST THIS despite its being understandable (after all, you gotta make a buck).

But I am tired of having to ask for gochuang on the side to bring Korean dishes up to the normal level of spiciness. Korean food is spicy — get used to it, Frenchies! Situated in the 6th, Joayo d’Assas, is on the small side, so go early for lunch or make a reservation. Decorated in a homey yet modern style, it’s got hoods over the tables to suck up the smoke when they serve bulgogi.

My friend Rob and I went for the lunch specials. There’s a lack of clarity on the menus — it seems like the specials are offering three dishes when actually it’s only two. But it’s still a good deal at 13.50 euros, and you do get the traditional banchan (small side dishes) with the meal. My pa jun (a fried scallion pancake) was a tad burned, but edible. Rob’s fried dumplings were probably a better bet. But we both really appreciated the stone bowls of rice veggies with (for Rob) squid and (for me) squid and pork that were nose-runningly spicy (as they should be).

Excellent cure for the common cold, though I’d go back in a heartbeat, even if I were completely healthy.

Joayo d’Assas, 54 Rue d’Assas, 75006 Paris, 01 43 20 98 23


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