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Oct 17, 2006 08:58 PM

Love K-Town---Recommendations for new places?

Calling all Korean food experts! I love Korean food and often go to K-town, but I am stuck in a rut of going to only a handful of places. I like Kunjip and Shilla best and have also been to Won-jo (decent), Kum-gang-san (aka the tourist trap) and the small place next to Kum-gang san that specializes in Sulungtang. Can anyone recommend some good places other than these? I tend to prefer places that have great soups and stews rather than places that specialize in BBQ. Also, any great places for Soon Doo boo, the soft tofu soup? (When I used to live in Philly, I would go to a place that only served variations on Soon Doo boo, the soft tofu soup, and have not been able to find an equivalent in New York that measures up.) Thanks in advance for your help!!!

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  1. Cho Dang Gol on 35th st - excellent soon do boo.

    2 Replies
    1. re: pablog98

      and a hundred other kinds of tofu

      1. if you have the time and inclination to travel a bit, you can go to flushing for really good korean food (outside of LA or korea that is).

        there're a lot of korean restaurants clustered around northern blvd in flushing.

        in the city, albene (across from cho dang gol, which has very good pork-ssam) is good for quick, ghetto korean food. but too much msg though..

        2 Replies
        1. re: koreankorean

          Yes, check out these posts on Flushing, On the fringes of Flushing, there is a wide variety of incredible Korean places that few outside the neighborhood have visited. I haven't been but I'd love to. It's on my "to do" list.

          1. re: Brian S

            Here's a summary of that second thread plus at least one other, with addresses and other info:

        2. My favorite is Mandoo, 32nd street (of course), towards 5th Ave. It is the restaurant that has women in the window making dumplings (mandoo). I love the seafood mandoo, and I've had it in their soups and thought it was fantastic.

          1 Reply
          1. re: fornaio

            Hmmm...I got Mandoo Soup there for lunch about a month ago or so and thought it was fine and hit the spot but wasn't tremendously special or anything like that.

          2. I second Mandoo Bar. But they only have mandoo, ramyun, bokkumbab, bibimbap. If you can handle spicy, order the duk-bo-ki which you can cook on your table and there are noodles and veggies in it. (it's rice cake) Or, the jol-myun which are noodles but they are a bit starchy so they're a little al dente when you bite into it.

            I rarely eat in k-town b/c I agree that the best korean food is in Flushing/Bayside. If you need some recommendations, let me know. I know plenty in Flushing.

            I haven't been to the following places, but a friend of mine just sent me an email last week regarding some places in k-town. Here they are below along with her original comments.

            Woo Ri Jip - more like a deli where the food is instant or kept in hot containers / refrigerators all day. It's still yummy but not sure if you guys want to do that rather than sit formally at a restaurant.

            Won Jo - the kalbi is probably best b/c they barbecue it with coals but d├ęcor is lacking

            Kang Suh - the worst service if you are seated downstairs. Upstairs is fine.

            Choong Mu Ro (relatively new restaurant) on south side of the street - it's the most clean and best service

            6 Replies
            1. re: FoodFanNYC

              Thanks Everyone! I totally agree that the best Korean food is in Flushing and I go to Flushing all the time for real Taiwanese food, so I welcome any suggestions there. It seems like most Asian food in Manhattan pales in comparison to the places Flushing and my mantra is "WILL TRAVEL FOR GOOD FOOD." If any of you Korean food fans also love other Asian food, One of my favorites is going to the Little Fat Lamb for the "Ying-Yang" Hot Pot---a divided hot pot that is half spicy peppercorn broth and half medicinal/herb broth. They also have homemade fishballs that they form tableside, dropping each one fresh into the boiling pot.

              1. re: Aiceegray

                I hope you'll post some Taiwan recommendations in Flushing on the Outer Boroughs board. People there were discussing where to go and disagreed, and I'd like to hear your recommendations. By the way, Spicy & Tasty and Xiao La Jiao also offer the two-chambered hot pot... but it's not on the main menu.

              2. re: FoodFanNYC

                When i first got back from korea a few years ago, I thought that Mandoo Bar was awful! But now, it's not so bad. I don't think the quality has changed but my desperation for mandoo certainly has! hahaha (I still wouldn't say that it is an example of great mandoo but passable).

                Cho Dang Gol (for tofu), Kun Jip (everyday comfort food), Kang Suh (BBQ & groups) & You-Chun (really reminds me of Korea...great Dduk Bok Gi) are my favorites.

                1. re: asm305

                  mandoo bar IS awful. but you're right - when there isn't much else out there, people tend to lower their standards. it's crazy; i wouldn't touch any of the options in manhattan if food of that level were available in nj, queens, and especially LA or korea, but when you're in manhattan you have no choice but to pony up for poor-to-mediocre grub. at this point i hardly eat in k-town anymore, which saddens me as a korean. i don't mind travelling to flushing or nj to get the better stuff, but it's really mind-boggling to think that there isn't one korean restaurant on the island that's much better than average.

                  1. re: surly

                    I just asked for suggestions in the Tri State board for good Korean in NJ - as I didn't want to divert this thread. Any suggestions?

                    1. re: surly

                      Mandoo bar is good for mandoo and acorn noodles, and that's about least these days.



                2. SEOUL GARDEN.
                  32nd Street just East of Broadway, on the south side of the street - 2nd floor.
                  Best Soondubu I have had int the city hands down. I get the #50 - spicy. The pachan are very fresh as well. I much prefer the soondubu here to Cho Dang Gol.

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: Diana182

                    2nd Seoul Garden. The Soondubu is addictive.

                    As for Cho Dang Gol, I go for only for the Biji jigae.