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Good Korean in MSP

I get a real craving for Korean food now and then, unfortunately it has been quite a while and I am not sure where I should go to quench this thirst for kim chee and the like.

I used to go for lunch to Dong Yang a lot and loved it. Always the best food for the money. But I would like something a bit better in atmosphere and open later. What are peoples' thoughts on Kings? The one time I tried to go it was closed (a sunday or monday night). Also which of these places have a liquor license. Korean food just needs a good beer to go with it.

thanks

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  1. We're big fans of King's. It has a full bar (although we had to show them how to make a martini, they kept serving us gin and tonics in a martini glass). It's also nice that they have a sushi bar so you can mix and match Korean and sushi. We brought friends there who had recently been to Korea and they were very impressed with the quality of the food. The only downside is that they have karaoke (after 9?) and I find it really irritating. We've been there when no one was interested in singing so the staff went ahead and performed. We wished they would have just let it go. Also, since it's in Anoka County they still have smoking there which annoyed us.

    Mirror of Korea on Snelling is a favorite when we don't feel like driving to Fridley. I've always been happy with my dishes and like the variety of pickled veggies they serve with meals. I believe they have beer but no hard liquor. The staff are friendly although last time we had to convince them we could handle spicy.

    1. Not exactly responsive to your question, but I really like this little Korean market on Snelling, just North of University Avenue, in St. Paul: Kim's Oriental Foods and Gifts. It's a great little resource for St. Paulites.

      http://www.chowhound.com/topics/31509...

      ~TDQ

      1. I used to go to Sole Cafe on Snelling, but am not sure if they are still open. It is/was a small place that was quite cozy with excellent food. Has anyone been there lately?

        By the way, Kim's Grocery on Snelling has a great selection of Korean dumplings etc.

        1 Reply
        1. re: misterpatrick

          Sole Cafe used to have the best, most authentic Korean food (in my opinion). However, they've only been doing karaoke and alcohol for quite a while now.

        2. Just a note: All Korean restaurants (except perhaps Hoban?? since I've never eaten there) are closed on Mondays. I am Korean and the debate over which Korean restaurant is "better or best" is well, an individual thing. If I want a bit more ambience, and the choice of having some decent sushi, I will go to King's. However, there is something that I do like about a no-frills, old mom and pop korean restaurant like Mirror of Korea. It is always the same woman - and though she's not always the most hospitable, I think the be bim bop and bulgogi are better than the others.

          1. I am also Korean and I prefer Kings, hands down. To answer Misterpatrick's question: no, Sole is no longer open, hasn't been for a long time (the last time I noticed).
            Kings also has a Korean grocery store next door with many products. Kim's Oriental Grocery store on Snelling has been around forever and also has a large selection.
            Hoban Rest in Eagan - I don't recommend, but if you just have to have Korean and don't want to drive to Fridley, it'll do in a pinch.
            Mirror of Korea - I agree with snoboardbabe77. it's like going to your Korean neighbor's house for lunch or dinner.
            What used to be Shilla on Snelling Ave (across from Kim's Oriental Groc Store) has apparently changed ownership/management in the last year or so. I haven't been there in years because the last couple times I went there, it was too Americanized for my taste.
            There's also a Korean restaurant over on the U of M campus across the street from the Alumni center that was okay - again, a place "like going to your neighbor's house for lunch" feel - adequate quality food, very casual atmosphere.
            I like King's. I think they have the best quality Korean food in the Twin Cities. Try their buffet during the week: japchae, bulgogi, kim-chee, sushi! Can't beat it! Closed on Monday's!
            Kam-sa-ham-ni-da! (Thank you!)

            2 Replies
            1. re: rviot

              I love Kim's. I "discovered" it for the first time 3-4 months ago. What do you think it especially good there? I've been getting a lot of the freezer items, and those little "buns" out of the refridgerated case in the front, but, I'm just experimenting rather than seeking specific items out. I don't have a lot of experience with Korean cuisine, and would love some pointers.

              ~TDQ

              1. re: The Dairy Queen

                I get the seaweed, the kind billed as kelp, in the purple bag in, I believe, the freezer case (might be refrigerated though). I make a little seaweed salad with hot sauce (that rooster kind), seasame oil, some soy sauce, and scallions. Not sure what's really in seaweed salad, but this is good. Very salty, which I like, yet the packaging claims it's not high in sodium.

                I also like the rice crackers wrapped in seaweed, which you can find in other Asian grocerties. I live near Kim's and I don't know why I don't go there more often. It's wonderful. I'll have to look for the little buns. Now I'm craving that salad.