By Eileen Goldfinger (Food editor @Blogfinger) and Paul Goldfinger (Editor @Blogfinger)
MOGO had just opened five days before, and Eileen and I were hungry on Thursday night so we went to 632 Cookman Avenue (across from America’s Cup coffee shop) to visit the new restaurant opened by owners Jayson Devino and Sam Chung. They are well known to the community because of their Korean fusion tacos stand on the Boardwalk in Asbury–which will remain open in season.
The restaurant is sparsely furnished, but it is bright, hip, cheerful and welcoming. There is a counter where you can order food, and then you sit down and wait a short time before a “runner” comes out with your order. This is a no-frills operation. You read the menu above the head of the “counter girl” who takes the order. The chef in the back prepares your food.
It is a very simple menu. All the food is made fresh “from scratch.” You choose either tacos or burritos (that’s where the Mexican part comes in.) Both are made with tortillas, but the tacos are smaller and simpler. You choose a “protein” —marinated beef (rib-eye steak,) fish (tilapia,) chicken, pork, shrimp or tofu. The protein is sautéed.
We ordered burritos which come with fried rice that is either mixed with kimchi (Korea’s national dish— fermented spicy cabbage) or not. Eileen chose fish, while I tried the beef. The fish was spicier, but the “heat” is minimal.
The protein is chopped and flavored with spices. There are a few other ingredients which complete the filling. MOGO uses family recipes from Korea. There is a kimchi bar where you can add some special kimchi including daykon radish, spicy cucumber or original.
They also offer a special burger or Korean fried chicken.
We met both owners. They were proud of the fact that they will stay open until 3 am on Fridays and Saturdays. Jay says, “We love Asbury Park. It’s our home.”
Eileen and I found the food to be original and delicious. We came in with a bottle of Gavi Gavi Italian white wine which we bought chilled from “Lush,” a high end liquor store two shops down.
I liked the atmosphere of the place. It seemed alive and bubbly. All the customers we saw were young. People were coming and going—take out or sit down. A couple near us were having tacos. We asked for their review, and they responded with big smiles and two thumbs up
What a great idea: fresh and original food in a joyful setting at an affordable price. You can get hooked on MOGO and save some money besides.
Mogo will be open Mon.- Thurs from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m.; Fri. and Sat. from 11 a.m. to 3 a.m.; and Sundays from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m.
Their web site is MOGO web site
FRANK SINATRA: This song was introduced in 1946 for a film called “3 Little Girls in Blue.” Sinatra recorded it in 1956 for his album “Songs for Swingin’ Lovers.”