Pocha STL is temporarily closed due to COVID-19 restrictions. Seoul Garden in Creve Coeur remains open. Find updates at pocha-stl.com.
Saucy stir-fried noodles, bubbling Korean stews and cheesy chicken skillets number among the specialties at Pocha STL, a casual Korean eatery that opened in August in St. Ann.
It comes from the family behind longstanding Korean barbecue restaurant Seoul Garden, now in Creve Coeur, and almost necessarily offers Asian street food and fusion fare for carryout via online ordering.
Pocha STL occupies the original location of Seoul Garden, which closed earlier this year for renovations and retooling. Managing the family business – which Kyung and Dong Moon own – is their daughter, Joyce Moon.
“We wanted to do something different for St. Louis with a fun and creative environment that could cater to a contemporary type of Korean food,” Joyce Moon says. “Pocha is short for ‘pojangmacha,’ which is a culture of outdoor tent pubs. We really want it to be a comfy place for people to relax, have shots of [Korean alcoholic beverage] soju and enjoy staple pub and street snack types of foods.”
The comfort food menu breaks down into categories such as noodles, fried rice, stews, rice bowls, the rice dish bibimbap, cheese skillets, the cutlet dish katsu, the rice-and-seaweed dish kimbap and snacks. Highlights include army stew with spicy broth, Spam, sausage, kimchi and ramen noodles. Another favorite, yaki udon (stir-fried noodles) comes with seafood, veggies, beef or chicken.
A number of original recipes from Seoul Garden, such as spicy rice cakes, made it onto the Pocha STL menu alongside some modernized items. A cheese skillet, for instance, pairs Seoul Garden’s spicy chicken or pork with cheese sauce and rice.
Asian fusion options include pork cheese fries and Japanese-style dishes, such as omurice (fried rice topped with egg and ketchup) and, as previously mentioned, katsu (panko-breaded, deep-fried pork, fish or chicken served with rice and cabbage salad.) Traditional Korean street food options include braised pork trotters and chicken feet.
“We’re hoping to create a space that’s uniquely Korean where all kinds of people can enjoy Asian food and culture,” Joyce Moon says.
Pocha STL, 10678 St. Charles Rock Road, St. Ann, 314-429-4255, pocha-stl.com