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Kaya or other places with ground seating

I am looking for a good korean/japanese restaurant that has ground seating.
Kaya is our closest option but I have yet to read any kind of postive review here or elsewhere. Quality is first and foremost but having ground seating is the request of the birthday boy and he is 6!!
I hear Kaya is expensive, poor service and mediocre food, has anyone had a different experience???
Does Seoul Food in Somerville have ground seating???

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  1. I have been to Kaya twice with a Korean friend. The first time, the experience was very enjoyable. We ordered two kinds of marinated beef (I can't remember what this is called) to cook at the grill in our table. The beef and all of the accompaniments were very tasty. We also ordered some sushi, which was fine (though I am no sushi connoisseur). The service was fine. The second time, the service was awful (we couldn't get our water refilled, the server didn't tell us that they were out of a particular kind of sushi until bringing the other orders, and wasn't helpful in suggesting something else). The beef was still good, but overall quality seemed a little lower.

    The best thing about eating there was cooking our own meat on the grill, which I don't think is an option at the tables with ground seating (I could be wrong). So while I don't think Kaya is as awful as others have reported, I might not recommend it for this occasion, especially given the spotty service. Unfortunately, I don't really have a recommendation for another Korean/Japanese with ground seating. Amarin of Thailand in Newton has some tables with ground seating, and I have always enjoyed my meal there, but it is obviously not Korean or Japanese.

      1. re: adams_jo

        I was writing about the Kaya on Mass Ave in Cambridge - is this one still open?

        1. re: fbf242

          Yes, still open but not for too much longer, I think. The owner is trying to redevelop that property and is in the process of working the city and the neighbors for the necessary approvals. Timescale is months or year rather than weeks or days.

      2. I believe that Hometown/Buk Kyung in Union Sq. has one or two tables off to the side with traditional "ground" seating. The food is quite good and reasonably priced, particularly the Chinese-influenced Korean foods, such as jampong, jajangmyun, and kampoongyi.

        You must be referring to Seoul Food in Cambridge on Mass Ave? I don't believe they have traditional seating.

        2 Replies
        1. re: digga

          Seoul Food just has an obnoxious owner who decides whether she wants to serve you or not depending on her mood, how many people you have in your party, and if you are with kids. Too bad because I want to like the place.

          1. re: lennyb

            I've actually had consistently good experiences at Seoul Food, both with food and service, though never tried it with youngsters. But they do tack on a 15% gratuity on every check regardless of party -- which I have no problem with as I routinely tip more than that anyway.

            Will agree that Kaya is poor, however, especially on the service end of things.

        2. Is Lexington too far? I think Dabin on Muzzey Street has ground seating.

          1. seoul food doesn't have ground seating. I know of no korean restaurants that have it (although I may be wrong). Doesn't fugakyu have ground seating?

            eating on the floor brings back many memories...especially those of sitting on the heated floor in korea <3

            1. Buk Kyung (Korean) in Union Sq has one table for ground seating. Not screened off, just raised and in the window. Excellent Korean-Chinese, especially their noodle and soup dishes. I'm also quite fond of their fried chicken. Never tried their grill, but I think they have them.
              Fugakyu (Japanese) in Coolidge corner has a few screened off rooms. Sushi: good, if expensive.
              Kaya (just plain bad) in Porter Sq has a few screened off rooms. Appallingly bad Korean, with a terrible sushi bar.

              1. Wow, the though of spending quite a bit of money to take a bunch of 6 year olds (including 1 korean fella who knows good korean food) and getting bad food, bad service at high prices is more than I can take, I will go and see the room in Union Square to see if it can accomodate all of us. If so I will so not be going to Kaya. Thanks for all the thoughtful posts. On another note, did Koreana stop serving sushi? all the sushi signs are down?

                1. how about that tea shop near harvard square? It's run by a korean man and there is a special seating area that's raised where you can sit on your butt. I don't know if they serve food, but you can most certainly get tea. The problem is is that there is only one table to do this so it might be taken

                  2 Replies
                  1. re: bitsubeats

                    Is that Dado Tea that you're referring to or somewhere else?

                    1. re: limster

                      can't remember...but I know its on mass ave is is run by a korean man with glasses.

                  2. Yama in Wellesley Hills has ground seating. The food is quite good. They have these Japenese sodas that the kids love. Wait staff in traditional Japanese kimonos. BYOB for adults.

                    1. Fugakyu is your best bet. They have several (6+) rooms capable of seating 4-6 people, and several larger private rooms, all with ground seating. Call in advance for a reservation.