Korean BBQ revisited
- Gabe Handel
I know there's a previous thread on this topic, but it's a few years old...
Any new developments on the Korean BBQ front? We went to Koreana this weekend, and though it wasn't bad, it wasn't great either. I understand that Jae's closed its Korean BBQ a while ago, and I'm just not sure of what other options exist for this cuisine in Greater Boston.
The best Korean BBQ I've found in the Boston area is Wu Chon in Somerville; they have a wide-ranging menu, they don't skimp on the food's spicyness, and they are generous and varied with the pan chan ("free" appetizers that precede the meal). In true Korean restaurant fashion they also have sushi.
290 Somerville Ave. (Union Square)
You can park in the lot next door after five; otherwise park across the street in the metered Union Square parking lot.
re: Jim Leff
I don't think that the Somerville Wu Chon is related to the NYC Woo Chon. First, there's the difference in spelling--Wu vs. Woo (whoo!). There's no mention of the NYC (or any other) branch on their menu. Also, they don't have a grill built into the table (I think that they used portable table grills, but I don't know if they're heated by gas or hot coals).
I'm assuming that Woo (or Wu) Chon is a standard Korean restaurant name.
Try out the Korean BBQ place in Burlington, MA on Rt. 3A (Get off 128 and go 3A towards Burlington (away from Burlington Mall; it is about a couple miles on the right in a strip mall). I can't remember the name, but it is something like Korean Barbecue. They have the built in gas grills.
We gave Wu Chon House a try last night, and it was indeed quite good. We were a little disappointed to find a very small selection of BBQ dishes, that these are all cooked in the kitchen (rather than on a grill at the table), and they don't come with lettuce, but the quality of the food made up for it.
The staff were exceptionally friendly, and the service was timely without being at all intrusive--we didn't ask, but we got the sense that this is a family-owned and family-staffed restaurant.
The decor is minimal, but the tables are well-spaced, and there are low dividing walls here and there for additional privacy. One could have a very laid back meal at Wu Chon.
We ordered an eel/cucumber roll, some miso soup, and an oyster pancake for an appetizer. The sushi was on the better side of average, miso's pretty much boil & mix-- so no surprises there, but the oyster pancake was really nice. It was filled with crisp onions and scallions, and it had a good, fresh oyster flavor throughout.
For the main course, we chose the Jumuluk -- a spicy beef BBQ dish for two, which was very tasty. It was perhaps a tad expensive at $27, though they do include many pan chan (Seth was right--they're generous with these, and there's good variety). Dinner for two, including all of the above plus one O.B. beer, tax and tip, cost a little over $60.
We liked this restaurant, and though we'll likely try out a few other places as we continue the search for great tableside Korean BBQ, I'm sure that we'll return to Wu Chon from time to time. Thanks again to all for the recommendations.
You also might want to check out the Apollo Grill & Sushi Restaurant in Chinatown. They've got two rooms; one with tradition Korean BBQ (and a great selection of meats and seafoods) and the other is the Japanese/sushi restaurant. I've been there several times and always had great food and service.