Best Korean place for a group?
I'm going to be in NYC next month, and am hoping to spend a significant portion my time there stuffing my face with Korean food (there's not a lot of it in Dublin, sadly). I'm going to be there for my birthday, so was thinking about forcing my friends to develop a taste for Korean food as well.
I'll have about 10 people, and would love to get some suggestions of places that would be good for a group. We will have a few vegetarians. I don't particularly want to cater to them, but I don't want them to starve, either.
I'd appreciate any suggestions. Thanks!
Conveniently enough, there's a stretch of West 32nd Street(btw 5th and Broadway) generally referred to as Koreatown! Tons of places there, many of which work really well for groups. Gahm Mi Ok(not sure on my spelling) has a small menu, but a soup that is one of NYC's finer things after some drinking(a task easily accomplished in K-town). There are tons of Korean BBQ places, you may just want to see which looks good to your group. Some are somewhat more upscale/pricy than others. Some names off the top of my head are Won Jo and Kum Gang San(nicer ambiance compared to most others, but more $). Seoul Garden has plenty of space and some great chige(that's the Japanese name, my wife is Japanese so not sure how it's called in Korean), but it's a tofu soup. Careful with the kimchee version, could require 2-3 pitchers of water. There's a BBQ place called NY Kal Bialthough the actual name is much longer, that has a private room for groups upstairs if you want that. And quite frankly, no matter what restaurant you pick, follow it up by getting some snacks at Woo Ji Rip, some beer at the Korean supermarket, and hit Toto Music Studio(38 W 32nd) for karaoke! I tried to throw some names in there, but you can literally go to K-town and see what you like since all the places are really close together. It can get crowded at dinnertime and later though. Oh, and pretty much everyplace has a ton of vegetarian options, even the BBQ places will have other options. Personally, I like BBQ for groups and those restaurants are usually bigger. I only wish you could bring some people from Dublin who could replace all the NYC bartenders who can't pour a good Guinness...I've seen some things that would turn your stomach...
We just tried a newish place called Madangsui in K-town. It was excellent. They give you about 10 banchan and they have grills built into the table for that 'fun' korean bbq experience. The food was excellent. We also like Gahm Mi Oak in K-town, but I think we'll be back to Madangsui first. Good luck and happy eating. Amy @ http://www.weareneverfull.com
Outside of Koreatown, down in the East Village, there's a good place that has a pretty extensive vegetarian menu, is good for a group, and has a kind of festive atmosphere. The food is good and pretty authentic, but the atmosphere is a little hipper than the places in K-town. Don't know whether that's a bonus for you or not.