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best korean in Westchester?

t
TGO Jan 16, 2007 08:24 PM

I used to live in the east 30s and often went to the various places in Koreatown but have yet to try a Korean place up here. I'm very pregnant and craving some bibimbop and bulgogi so please give me some good recs! tia

  1. r
    rolise Jan 16, 2007 09:01 PM

    I am not a Korean expert but my DH and I have eaten at a Korean restaurant on Central Avenue, I think in shopping center across from Kohl's. I liked the bibimbop. There were several asian families there.

    2 Replies
    1. re: rolise
      MikiLovesSugar Jan 16, 2007 09:55 PM

      Kang Suh! I love this place... they are very good

      1. re: MikiLovesSugar
        bosun Feb 13, 2008 12:25 PM

        I second this!

    2. JMF Jan 16, 2007 11:41 PM

      Kalbi House on Central Ave in White Plains is the best. Kang Suh on Central Ave in Yonkers is one step down but pretty good.

      Neither is as good as the Northern Blvd Korean strip in Flushing, Queens. I went to a brand new place last Friday, it had only been open a few days, that was amazing.

      1 Reply
      1. re: JMF
        MikiLovesSugar Jan 17, 2007 02:07 AM

        I haven't been to Kalbi House in about a year and a half because i noticed the quality of the meat went down. Kang Suh is consistently excellent!

      2. s
        surly Jan 17, 2007 02:40 AM

        for what it's worth, kang suh is related to the restaurant of the same name on 32nd street in manhattan.

        not sure where you are in westchester, but why not hop over the gw bridge to fort lee and palisades park, nj? it's a short ride from yonkers or thereabouts and there are tons of great korean options. the korean community's very large in that part of bergen county so even a mediocre place will probably be better than anything in westchester or 32nd street, and it's much closer than flushing.

        1. d
          Dim Sum Diva Jan 17, 2007 01:31 PM

          I agree with KMF, I rate Kalbi House a notch over Kang Suh, regardless of the affiliation. I think they are more generous and attentive at Kalbi, although both are not cheap. At Kalbi house, however, you are more apt to exit smelling like a BBQ.

          There used to be a good Korean BBQ place in Ardsley, where the Kosher deli used to be in a strip mall. Not sure if it's still there.

          1. p
            pabboy Jan 17, 2007 01:53 PM

            I recently hit Kang Suh for the first time in 4+ years after my Korean friends insisted their quality has improved drastically. I was very skeptical since the previous experiences caused the 4+ year absence. To my surprise it has truly improved! No it's not as good as Ft Lee or Flushing but it's almost on par with Manhattan. Best part is it's only a few miles from my house!

            1. j
              jeanki Jan 17, 2007 06:12 PM

              I've been to both. Kang Suh to me is a more large scale full-service restaurant with good standard repertoire, and Kalbi House is more of a homestyle, Mom/Pop joint. Each has their own appeal and is delicious in their own way. I think I prefer the BBQ at Kang Suh, but I really enjoy the individual entrees/soups/banchan at Kalbi House. Both are not the greatest ever but still above average/ solid for Korean food.

              2 Replies
              1. re: jeanki
                p
                pabboy Jan 17, 2007 06:38 PM

                "Both are not the greatest ever but still above average/ solid for Korean food."

                I fully agree. Although it's not like there are other options in the area. It's better than nothing right? ;-)

                1. re: jeanki
                  s
                  snowjewelz Feb 13, 2008 11:43 AM

                  Exactly what I was going to say :)

                2. Monica Jan 17, 2007 07:29 PM

                  If you have a bbq grill, make some for yourself at home by following a recipe available online. I can promise you that it will be just as good or better than ones you get from those Koraen bbq place. Get a few packs of Kalbi from a Korean market(or any asian market) and marinate a whole batch, freeze them by the amount you can eat at a time and grill'em up when you are in the mood for some BBQ.

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: Monica
                    s
                    surly Jan 17, 2007 07:48 PM

                    a home cook might be able to approximate the type of korean-style bbq you'd get at a poor-to-mediocre korean restaurant but it's a lot harder than you think to duplicate or top the quality at places that use charcoal- or wood-fired grills and fresh, high-quality meat. a simple gas grill cannot create the kind of smoky flavor that a charcoal or wood grill can. not to mention, the top places in korea, LA, and ny/nj don't use frozen meat, which results in a much higher level of quality and taste.

                    that said, there are plenty of average or poor korean places in greater ny that are able to coast by and use generic gas grills and average meat quality because their core customer base doesn't know any better.

                  2. m
                    mixxy Jan 27, 2008 04:48 PM

                    We went to try Kang Suh tonight but did not end up eating. I was so hopeful when I walked in the hostess was pleasant and attentive. But when the waitress came over things got ugly. She was quite rude. We asked for meat with the bone left on - the person I was dining with likes to suck on the bone when he eats Korean BBQ - she said no, we serve no meat with bones(this is not an odd request btw we have ordered it this way in the city without any problem). So we let it go and ordered two appetizers, a Galbi and Bibimbop. She told us the BBQ had to be cooked in the back since we only ordered one BBQ dish(I should note here that cost 25.95)
                    We asked very nicely again to have it cooked at the table, "we only cook at table if you order two". Honestly, I felt like I was being pressured into buying another dish. We said no problem we will try another restaurant and left.

                    We went to Kalbi House in White Plains - it was excellent. Quaint and a very pleasant staff. The BBQ lacked garlic which I love, so we requested it and they brought it out. I will write a review of the place soon.

                    My question is has anyone else had this happen to them at Kang Suh? I found the whole thing uncomfortable.

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: mixxy
                      p
                      pabboy Jan 27, 2008 05:09 PM

                      It's not you... all Korean restaurants require you to order 2 or even 3 BBQ meats before you can cook at the table.

                    2. SweetPea914 Jan 28, 2008 04:29 AM

                      I have never eaten in, but I get take-out from Kang-Suh and have always been more than happy with their food. I usually get the bi bim bop and even with take out they give you a ton of side dishes. I eat it for 2 lunches easily, sometimes even 3! Which is good, since their prices are a little high as someone else has mentioned.

                      I just got a menu from Kuzaku in Tuckahoe and they have bi bim bop on their menu. Has anyone tried this place?

                      3 Replies
                      1. re: SweetPea914
                        r
                        rolise Jan 29, 2008 09:47 AM

                        I have had the japanese food there. It was good for what it is, but japanese is not my favorite cuisine. My DH and MIL enjoy it. They are very popular for the sushi. The rolls are good. I don't eat much sushi. They are very nice and helpful and it is a good place to take our son who loves their miso soup. I have never had the bi bim bop there so can't speak to it.

                        1. re: rolise
                          r
                          RawTunaFan Jan 30, 2008 05:44 AM

                          OK its my turn to defend this place, since I really dont think this place is all that bad, and since I have found that only a handful of places in NYC (Queens, Korea Town) is that much better -- after all, NOTHING compares to the Korean BBQ in downtown L.A. and Orange County, Ca. Period.

                          In Los Angeles, where the Korean BBQ is a million times better than anywhere in NY, most restaurants require at least THREE people to order before you can cook at the table -- I think its just messy and more work for them.

                          Granted for your $25.95 worth of food, really take advantage of their banchan, since they are unlimited and if you really want something special, tell them you want to try the KOREAN BROWN rice instead of white rice, its a lovely bowl of mixed beans and dark grainy rice, its buttery sweet, healthy and delicious! Also ask them for banchan (sides) they carry in the back but do not offer to non-Korean folk, who are not as adventurous and would probably waste things like the crab and broccoli salad, the potatoes and fishcake, the anchovies salad, the scallions with sauce, etc...

                          As far as the attitude goes, I think you possibly misconstrued attitude for communication barriers, because to be honest I don't think many of them have the greatest English speaking skills to give attitude in the first place and their cultural dispositions may come across as rude, in general they are they dont appear to be chirpy cheery people, more worker bee variety.

                          I actually prefer Kang Suh to Kalbi house for a few reasons -- 1) they only offer brown rice at Kang Suh (once you've had it, its worth it) 2) I prefer the side selections and variety at Kang Suh to Kalbi House -- I think more notably, the kimchi at Kang Suh has more bite to it, probably since it has more chili and brined anchovy, the Kalbi House was more watery and of lesser quality. The Oi sabaki cucumber "kimchi" is always crunchy and fresh at Kang Suh, the way it should be, at Galbi, its always soggy in my opinion. The knognamul sesame sprouts have more sesame oil in it - -at galbi its watery and not as oily with less sesame flavor. The meats at Kang Suh are also lathered in sesame oil, you can see them glistening in the light. While they do serve Galbi on the bone at Galbi house, I'm not too crazy about their meat cuts as well as their seasoning.

                          Last but not least, I prefer the cooking grills at Kang Suh. The open flame gives my meat the perfect char. I also like the fact that you can control the heat. Nothing like giving your galbi the perfect hot fire sear to seal in the juices, then turning down the heat - - yielding a nice hot charred crust and soft medium rare center.

                          Is is the best Korean in the world? No. In Westchester, in my opinion, yes. Sorry I know there are naysayers that like Galbi House more, but I have tried that place at least five times and everytime I walk out of there, I just wish I would have sticked to Kang Suh.

                          1. re: RawTunaFan
                            j
                            jeanki Jan 30, 2008 10:06 AM

                            I agree with you rawtunafan, Kang Suh is a perfectly decent above average full Korean restaurant with tasty BBQ and a nice array of tasty banchan. I actually liked the kalbi they prepared solo in the back, it's not bad at all relative to the table grilled version. (And yes, it is standard practice at nearly all Korean restaurants not to use the table grill unless at least 2 or more orders are present.) My only quibble is that it is slightly overpriced, but not terribly so relatively to downtown joints. I also find it of higher quality than Kalbi House, although I actually like Kalbi House as well but find it a smaller-scale operation, and despite their name, their BBQ leaves a lot to be desired (grossly overpriced for the miniature portions of subpar quality meat they offer). I actually feel perfectly content having these 2 Korean places around in Westchester and don't feel a special need to drive elsewhere (unless I find something of the OC variety as you mentioned, which I know I won't find.) I've had much worse suburban Korean in other towns before.

                      2. m
                        mistabkim Jul 27, 2008 05:09 PM

                        I have tried Korean barbeque at many different Korean restaurants, but I would definitely say that the best place for korean food in the Westchester area is Kalbi House. The different types of bbq and the numerous side dishes they offer are all great and fresh and everything is very exquisite. The kimchi they serve is delicious; probably the best I've ever had. I always ask for extra when I go there with my family and sometimes I even buy a large container of kimchi for $5. Dining at Kalbi House definitely gives a home-style cooking atmosphere. I have been to Kang Suh as well, however, the barbeque and banchan quality isn't as great as what Kalbi House offers. I go there weekly with my wife and children and they have yet to walk out with dissatisfaction. I highly recommend Kalbi House to anyone that loves Korean food, or even to anyone who has never tried korean food before.

                        6 Replies
                        1. re: mistabkim
                          c
                          christinepierce Jul 29, 2008 03:09 PM

                          Its great to know that there are Korean BBQ places in WEsthchester -- we just moved here from the city and can't wait to try either of these places..which would you recommend first? We normally eat at dak suni in the village or woo lae oak in koreatown ... any of these places similar with great selection of banchan?
                          thanks
                          christine

                          1. re: christinepierce
                            l
                            lucyis Jul 30, 2008 04:37 PM

                            Do you know if there are any Korean fried chicken places in the county? Kyochon in Queens is a guilty pleasure of ours.

                          2. re: mistabkim
                            j
                            jeanki Jul 30, 2008 08:10 PM

                            I like both places, but I totally cannot agree that the BBQ or banchan is better at Kalbi House than Kang Suh at all. You get a wider variety of banchan and better portions/meat quality for the same price. I do think Kalbi House has much better mandoos though, and maybe better kimchi.

                            No, there's no Korean fried chicken in Westchester as far as I'm aware. Gotta go to Ft Lee or Flushing.

                            1. re: jeanki
                              nbermas Jul 31, 2008 02:04 PM

                              What is Korean fried chicken?

                              1. re: nbermas
                                l
                                lucyis Jul 31, 2008 04:07 PM

                                http://www.villagevoice.com/locations...

                                Fried chicken made either with a soy based marinade or a hot version. It's extra crispy and not greasy.

                                1. re: lucyis
                                  nbermas Aug 2, 2008 05:18 PM

                                  But I would wake up with a migraine because of the soy base. But there is a soy that is made with mushroom that doesn't give me a migraine. Sounds great though.

                          3. m
                            maddiemad Mar 13, 2009 08:02 AM

                            I just went Kang Suh last night, got Bulgolgi, it was pretty good, side dishes as well... I was just really really sad on the portion size of the Bulgolgi, it was sooooo small. I had to really fill up on rice and banchan to fill up. Plus, it was expensive, Bulgolgi for about $25.00??
                            I think Kalbi was $27??

                            I think I'm going to hit up Kalbi House to see if they are any better.

                            1 Reply
                            1. re: maddiemad
                              p
                              PJPasta Mar 16, 2009 03:33 PM

                              We went to (what I believe was Kalbi House) on Central Avenue the other night. We couldnt get into the Greek restaurant nearby. I have to say that the Galbi and the meats were pretty good but not as good as our favorite, Man Dang Sui in Manhattan. We were not very impressed with the banchan. We will have to try the other Korean place in Westchester that people talk about here - are these the only two Korean places in Westchester?

                            2. b
                              badukmaster Jun 27, 2010 02:46 PM

                              Kang-suh follows the fomat of Manhatten Korean restuarants. If you want something standard, Kang-suh is a safe bet. On the other hand, Kalbi is a 'mom and pop' type restuarant. That is not necessarily a bad thing.

                              Personally, the side dishes seem to be better quality at Kang-suh (variations and taste) while Kalbi tends to accomodate special requests better. If I want a good dinner, I would go with Kang-suh (more spatious and better ventilation). If I want to grab something quick as take out, I go with Kalbi.

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