Kum Gang San
- Alan Divack
We went to Kum Gang San in flushing last week. We
hadn't been in over two years, and although we had a
good meal, with a stellar group of side dishes, the
grilled meat was a little disappointing. We had kalbi,
and it was lacking in succulence. My wife said that
we should have gone with the bulgoki instead, so maybe
next time. Also, they served miso soup rather than the
rich beef broth which other Korean places serve -- I
forgot what we had had the last time we were there.
I was at Kum Gang San (Flushing) on Saturday night. I fing the kalbi to be quite consistent and succulent - and I love the BBQ-style sauce they provide with it. And of course the pan chan are amazing. My favorite is the grilled mackerel. What makes it even better is that if you woof down the first mackerel like I always do, they will bring a second. NY Magazine did a write-up on this place a while back and it mentioned a dish I would not have otherwise tried - roast fresh pork with raw oyster and cabbage. Fantastic! Weird for a western palatte, definitely, but really tasty. Their version of steak tartare is also unusual, but great - julienned, crunchy, almost frozen raw beef, mixed with raw egg and spice. Addicitive is the only word I can use to describe it. They also do respectable sushi/sashimi. Friendly staff, good prices, free parking.
Also in the neighborhood is Woo Chon - smaller, more family oriented, less variety, but still a very nice place. I alternate between the two when Korean is the chow du jour.
good to hear. kum gang san in flushing i believe is tops for korean in the area.
the pork, oyster and cabbage dish you refer to is called bossam, or bosam, and there are other discussions of it on earlier chowhound threads. i love the stuff.
the steak tartare is called yookhwe, and if it was done right, there should have been some asian pear thrown in as well. han bat here in manhattan does a good rendition of that as well.
thanks for the post and keep us updated.
actually, alpha dog will have my head if i don't modify my previous statement. kum gang san is tops in the area for department store korean (i.e., a superstore type restaurant where you can get a bit of everything). according to jim, bo is the ultimate korean, and i hope to affirm that when i go in the next couple of weeks.
"according to jim, bo is the ultimate korean"
Actually not...while she cooks pretty authentic Korean soul food dishes, chef/owner Maria is so distinctive, her cooking so personal (and filtered through the fact that she's a very trained in French cooking, though there are no palpable fusion touches) that I'd not call Bo "the ultimate korean"...it's not best of type, it's a different type entirely. Bo is, though, I think, one of the twenty best restaurants in NYC.
Can I have an amen, Jake? Allan?
re: Jim Leff
Twenty?! Name the other 19. I'd say top 10.
Still getting over my meal at Bo with Jim on Saturday... For the rest of the weekend, every so often I'd say "Hey, remember the short ribs?" to my two other friends who were along and we'd sit in almost reverential silence.
It was a unique and soul nourishing experience and it made me think seriously about buying a car, just so I could go more often.
re: Jim Leff
Bo's cooking transcends any origins and roots as it is personalized by a chef with exquisite taste. She also disdains use of MSG, which most Korean restaurants apply. We are lucky to have such a refined restaurant. In a perverse way, if one would order her beef ribs and potato pancakes, it would make one regret having wasted time in delis.