Korean, also Afghan bread
Dear Kate: My favorite Korean isn't exactly cozy, but it does have great food. Kum Gang San, at 49 West 32nd Street, has an open, two-story dining room with a waterfall along one wall. Perched on a fake rock ledge, mid-waterfall, is a white piano. I've never seen anyone play the piano -- instead, each night a woman in traditional Korean costume sits beside the piano and plucks a soothing, Korean instrument. A sight not to be missed.
But back to the food: Kum Gang San has great Korean BBQ, Bi Bim Bop (including a delicious one with sushi mixed in), Pajun (kind of like a giant scallion pancake that comes either in a seafood or vegetarian version), and Chap Che, a delicate beef dish with noodles.
Hope that helps. Don't be put off by the tacky-sounding decor. It's actually a fairly upscale place that draws a pleasant, lively, largely young-Korean crowd.
the previous restaurant mentioned is very good, but i also like KANG SUH at 32nd & bway. two stories of seating with excellent barbeque (bulgogi is good, but don't forget to try the spicy squid) and surprisingly reasonable lunch specials. whenever i am there, i feel like i am literally in seoul. everything about it is authentic. also, the decor just had a much-needed makeover.