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Korean dining spots?

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Profiterole Nov 27, 2007 12:31 PM

Hey, I was just interested if anyone can recommend any decent Korean restaurants in the Toronto. (once and for all!) Most that I've browsed through seems to incorporate Japanese and/or sushi menus (not that there's anything wrong with that), so I'm all the more confused as to what passes for authentic Korean fare in the city. Suggestions?

  1. p
    Profiterole Nov 30, 2007 09:18 AM

    Just to verify things, is the Korean Village along Bloor the 'sole' Korean district in the city, or are there any more like them in the neighbouring boroughs? (Markham, Scarborough, etc.)

    1 Reply
    1. re: Profiterole
      pescatarian Nov 30, 2007 09:19 AM

      yonge and finch

    2. l
      looniePincher Nov 28, 2007 02:08 PM

      I personally like Korean Village around Bloor and Christie.

      1. hotsauce28 Nov 28, 2007 01:13 PM

        Hey there,
        The best Korean BBQ (imo) in the city is Seoul House at Yonge & Steeles. It just changed owners and the food is excellent.
        If you want a cheaper fare try Oh Guel BoGuel on Yonge South of Finch on the west side. They have good food, lots of different banchan and you can eat for under $10.00.

        Stay away from the Owl next door, it's crap.

        6 Replies
        1. re: hotsauce28
          g
          ghetto_scarlem Nov 28, 2007 01:56 PM

          Not too sure why you are bashing the Owl.

          It's a good place.....if you get the Pork Bone Soup (Gamja Tang). That is what they are known for. A great deal for $7 (or maybe $8 these days). Not too sure about the other choices.....I don't get anything else there.....no need to look at the menu. Open 24 hours too.

          Please elaborate on why you think it is crap. I know many people who really like it - and that is the reason they are expanding (I think now 4 locations in GTA). How would they be able to do that if the food was crap?

          1. re: ghetto_scarlem
            pescatarian Nov 28, 2007 02:07 PM

            I know nothing about the Owl, could be very good for all I know. However, in relation to your second comment, it is not my experience that the growth of a business into a chain is always related to how good the food is, in fact, often times, the bigger a business gets, the food quality declines. Same goes for how busy a restaurant is - doesn't mean the food is good. Could mean the food is "ok" and passable for the masses. Again, not directly related to the Owl, they could be the exception, but I haven't eaten there.

            1. re: pescatarian
              g
              ghetto_scarlem Nov 28, 2007 02:11 PM

              You are right about the expansion thing. Doesn't necessarily mean anything.

            2. re: ghetto_scarlem
              hotsauce28 Nov 28, 2007 02:07 PM

              I used to go to the Owl a lot when it first opened and waited in line for a table 'cause they used to be so busy. Lately, I find that their food has gone downhill. Everything from there pork bone soup (they're specialty) to the fried kimchee/tofu, and banchan just isn't what it used to be.

              As for their 4 locations, I've eaten at the one in Markham and they were still decent. Not sure what happened to the one at Yonge & Finch but it's definately lost something.

              1. re: hotsauce28
                Royaljelly Nov 28, 2007 10:03 PM

                I only ate @ Owl (Hwy 7 location) once, it was nasty stuff. Had the basics like Bi Bim Bap and Jap Chae and it was all very plain. The Banchan side dishes were almost non-existent (1-2 spicy dishes and that's it). Didn't try their bone soup, but I've had bone soup at a bunch of other korean places that serve much better banchans.

                Agree w/ hotsauce28 that Oh Guel Bo Guel is my favorite cheap/authentic korean now.

                1. re: Royaljelly
                  chocabot Nov 29, 2007 06:24 AM

                  i've been to the one on bloor, ordered their famous pork bone soup, and never went back. compared to other places on the strip it just wasn't worth my time. that was 3 yrs ago...

          2. pinstripeprincess Nov 28, 2007 08:27 AM

            i realize that you're not really balking at the idea of sushi at korean restos, but i think perhaps you need to really consider the history of a culture to understand why you see what you see. it was inevitable that korean and japenese cultures would influence each other and there's almost no greater influence than in food.

            sushi is authentically both but the variations that sushi can take on reflect either a more japanese or more korean background. and as ghettoscarlem has noted, i doubt you should ever fear that a japanese chef is creating your korean meal, if only there were enough japanese chefs in this city for such a thing to happen. and heed his comment about those grill houses, for the most part they tend to be run by chinese people who think that badly marinated meat passes for korean bbq... the awful thing is that many people accept and love it.

            i'll also second ghettoscarlem's suggestion of neighbourhoods, these areas seem to have attracted a wealth of korean people and you really can't go wrong for the most part. the buk chang suggestion is great especially because their meals are served in a less common fashion.

            btw, has anyone been there recently? not to be a scare monger but i saw the unit was up for lease...

            4 Replies
            1. re: pinstripeprincess
              b
              bluedog Nov 28, 2007 11:25 AM

              Good post princesspinstripe. Having been to korea, can vouch that there is a ton of sushi there, often with a korean twist to it. For example, instead of wasabi, that ubiquitous red pepper paste is sometimes used. Its as "authentic" as anything in Japan, 'cept its Korean sushi.

              1. re: pinstripeprincess
                pescatarian Nov 28, 2007 01:32 PM

                I hope that buk chang isn't gone, it was a great little place

                1. re: pescatarian
                  Delish Nov 28, 2007 01:41 PM

                  I was there last week and didn't notice any sign. How recently did this become a possibility?

                  1. re: Delish
                    pinstripeprincess Nov 28, 2007 01:46 PM

                    in that case ignore me. i was looking up commercial spaces for lease and found their location listed online. perhaps it was a mistake or the upstairs.

              2. g
                ghetto_scarlem Nov 28, 2007 07:43 AM

                Once and for all? Come on.....there are numerous threads about Korean restaurants in Toronto (in addition to the one already mentioned).

                http://www.chowhound.com/topics/309975
                http://www.chowhound.com/topics/452617
                http://www.chowhound.com/topics/434649
                http://www.chowhound.com/topics/391067

                Most restaurants that are Korean/Japanese are owned by Koreans. The Korean dishes will most likely be authentic.

                I recommend Bloor/Christie and Yonge/Steeles/Finch/Sheppard. Various types of restaurants for your tastes and budget.

                If you want authentic, then please stay away from all-you-can-eat Korean Grill House (or similar) that say they are "Korean" - but they clearly are not.

                1 Reply
                1. re: ghetto_scarlem
                  xtal Nov 28, 2007 08:28 AM

                  I would agree with the comments above regarding the AYCE 'korean grill' restaurants. They are enjoyable for what they are (particularly the Grill Time at Yonge & College), but one isn't getting a true taste of Korean food there. Stick to the myriad suggestions in the other threads to experience delicious Korean food.

                2. xtal Nov 27, 2007 01:04 PM

                  Here's a recent thread that will get you started. Many of the restaurants mentioned are in the Bloor & Bathurst area.
                  http://www.chowhound.com/topics/450124

                  2 Replies
                  1. re: xtal
                    pescatarian Nov 27, 2007 01:18 PM

                    I did end up going to Buk Chang Dong Soon Tofu and it was great. The dolsot bibimbap was excellent.

                    1. re: pescatarian
                      JamieK Nov 27, 2007 01:35 PM

                      +

                      -----
                      Buk Chang Dong
                      691 Bloor St W, Toronto, ON M6G, CA

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