January 14, 2008

The Tempting Trio

Off the main drag of Korea town in NYC which is 32nd St. (and in my opinion a little tired and overpriced) my favorite place to go is a few streets north to 35th St., between 5th & Broadway, where three upstart restaurants, all next to each other, torture me between choosing between them.

The first is Cho Dang Gol, a restaurant specializing in tofu dishes - the freshest, richest, homemade tofu turned into the most delicious biji's and soon-doobu's you've ever had. My favorite is the kimchee biji - mouthfuls of rich, almost velvety homemade doobu simmered in garlic, onion and pork, punctuated perfectly by chunks of braised kimchee that become almost silken as you spoon your way down the bowl into the milky tofu broth. Besides this, I've only ever had their bibimbop and though it was top-notch, it was very pricey when you can get more for less right next door at my all-time favorite KTown restaurant.

which is Han Bat. Their food is reliably and consistently fresh, delicious and authentic. It is by far the most reasonably priced, the portions generous, and the restaurant itself is warm and inviting, probably because of the great steaming vats of sullong-tang they have simmering at the rear of the restaurant. (The vats simmer around the clock in a "traditional" Korean cooking hearth, complete with a small thatched roof overhead so customers might feel as if they were sitting in the yard of a traditional home.) Try the deliciously hot and crispy seafood pajun or kimchee binde-dduk, bibimbop, any of the jigae's, gooks, and tangs - you will inevitably get a side of steaming fresh sollung-tang to boot.

And last but not least, the Korean Chinese Restaurant whose name I can never remember, sandwiched between the two above restaurants makes wonderful ja jang myun. The deep rich ja jang sauce is full of onion and pork bits and their homemade noodles are nicely chewy and doughy and all of it is only exponentially enhanced when accompanied by a platter of their excellent tang soo yuk. So tangy, so-sweet-and-yet-so-sour with just the right amount of pineapple to onion to green pepper ratio and a heaping family sized portion of fried pork (And the prices are good too which for a Korean is an important as anything!)

More favorites to come. In the meantime, check out Trifood.com where they try to compile a list of all the Korean restaurants in NY, NJ and CT.

posted at 10:45 PM by jenn

Filed under: restaurants


01/24/08 12:20 AM

Thanks for the reviews! I'll check out Han Bat this weekend.

02/04/08 04:59 PM

i'm not a huge fan of beans but can't go wrong with kimchi biji...especially in this restaurant!

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