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Korea House

Perhaps I'm on a losing streak, but went to Korea House today and I must warn others to stay away. This was the dirtiest place ever. I would have left, but my other party persuaded me to stay. The little dishes were actually pretty good, but my bulgogee was awful.

Usually I welcome other opinions, but I'm pretty set on this one.

Groan.

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  1. I've gotta say that I've been to Korea House at least 5 times over the last couple years and it is as good as any Korean restaurant I've been to in Austin. I've always enjoyed my food and the service and I'm pretty critical. Never had issues with cleanliness either, though it has been 3 or 4 months since my last trip.

    1 Reply
    1. re: uarent

      I ate there this afternoon. The place was reasonably clean and the service was fine. The staff works as a team, and there was a family vibe - different generations, etc.

      The soft tofu with beef and vegetable chigae was not very good - however this is probably a taste preference and not a quality issue. We could not eat it. Maybe too authentic???

      We also ordered one of the combo boxes - around 14.00. It was acceptable and enjoyable. Might go back. Realizing that maybe I just don't really like Korean food.

    2. Next time venture North and try Koreana. It's a little difficult to get to (South bound frontage of Mopac between Parmer Lane & Burnet/Duval) but I've always found their service top notch and the food delicious. Sushi, too.

      2 Replies
      1. re: Kaya_n_Austin

        I always go to Korea Garden.

        I -love- Korea Garden.

        1. re: EricDC

          Between Korea Garden and Korea House...If I'm getting bi-bim-bap, Korea House. It tends to be a little more greasy at times, but the ban chan at KG are horrible. If I'm getting sushi (especially the lunch specials) it's KG hands down.

      2. I had my first meal at Korea House the other day, and had a not terrible but not great meal. I ended up getting to soft tofu jigae, and the tofu tasted old, but the banchan were alright, and there was a nice selection of them. Also, the amount vegetable tempura we got in one order was amazing. It was enough to feed two people as a meal, or perhaps six or seven as an appetizer.

        They're right in my neighborhood, so if it wasn't for one thing, I'd give them them the benefit of the doubt on the stale tofu and try them again. I'd actually ordered a different dish, but the waiter, a young HS or college aged student warned me that it might be “too Korean” for my taste, and suggested the soft tofu jigae instead. I insisted that it would be fine, and reiterated my original order. Of course when the order showed up, I didn't get the correct order, and the dish that I got was decidedly mediocre. It took about half an hour from the time we ordered until we were served, and I didn't want to hold up our group for another half an hour, so I just ate what I got.

        Next time, I'll head to Korea Grill in the chinatown center, unless I actually want to order soft tofu chigae, in which case I'll drive up to Odaku Sushi (not that KG doesn't have good soon dubu chigae, but Odaku's version is divine).

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        Korea House
        501 Village Shopping Ctr, Austin, TX 78701

        4 Replies
        1. re: thrackle

          I go to Korea House strictly for the sushi and order off the menu. Unfortunately, the sushi train suffers from "too many times around" syndrome. When I've ordered sushi off the menu, it's always been super-fresh and wonderful. I consider them the best bang for the buck on sushi.

          However, I've tried the bi-bim-bap there several times and haven't been impressed with either my dish or the ban chan. I actually got cut up, fried hot dogs once.

          1. re: amysuehere

            There s no sushi train at Korea House

            1. re: moosy

              Oop! My apologies. I read Korea House and thought Korea Garden. Silly me.

              1. re: amysuehere

                Thanks for the info anyway. I'd actually been avoiding Korea Garden since they installed the conveyor belt -- I figured that either the "good" stuff would get grabbed at the start, or that most things would be stale.

                Is there anything in particular you'd recommend off the menu? What's really amazing there?

        2. I've been to Korea House loads of times and never noticed any problem with cleanliness. You go to this place for one thing - the chance to roast your own squid and duck on a grill in the middle of your table. It's a great place to take a group and indulge in grilled meat, a bit of sushi and veggie tempura. The sweet potato noodles, however, ARE a bit gummy and probably "too Korean" for my gringo tastes!

          1 Reply
          1. re: Basilette

            I've eaten at Korea House a ton of times and have never been disappointed. You obviously did not enjoy your experience but can you be more specific about "dirtiest place ever"? You make it sound unsanitary.

            Sorry, new to Chowhound, meant to reply to original post.

          2. Korea House is ok. Its decent if you want the cook it yourself bbq experience. I always liked the cook it yourself duck there which is served with raw potatoes and what you do is you grill the duck with the potatoes near it so that the potatoes soak up the duck grease. The beef tongue bbq is also good. side dish banchan selection is decent but not great and depending on the waitress you might or might not get refills.

            Their made dishes/soups are ok but you'll find a better version of each dish somewhere else. I would just stick to rolls for sushi.

            Its a fun atmosphere for group meals if you don't mind smelling a bit smoky afterwards and you don't mind doing a bit of work for your dinner.

            1. Korea House is my go to for a good, cheap, no think lunch place. Now, this post is about their lunch special. I am not even going to touch on their regular menu. The fact that I can get in, and out in 45 minutes, pay 6.50 plus tax for a plate of spicy pork bulgogi, steamed rice, and two yakki mandoo(pork dumplings), a little bowl of broth with noodles, and banchan is insane. Its a ton of food, its good (maybe not the best in town, but I am here for a quick and tasty lunch) and its cheap and relatively quick. On that basis alone, I go there several times a month for lunch.

              As far as I can tell, the place is not unsanitary. Sure, some of the linoleum is peeling in the corner of the room, or the formica tables are slightly charred from the hibachi in the middle of it, but that means its not new and shiny, not dirty. Then again, I have been known to eat seafood from streetcarts in Mexico, so YMMV.

              1. Is this the Korean restaurant in the Village shopping center on Anderson? I have only been there a few times but I liked it the few times I have been and keep thinking I will go back. I have only been for lunch and didn't know about the cook yourself grills on the tables (may be I just didn't notice). I have only eaten Koran food at Korea House and at Koreana (which burned). I thought Koreana was way overpriced and not that good, and wouldn't have eaten there except that I was on foot and there was no other choice. I never noticed any problems at Korea House when I have been there. I will have to try it again for lunch sometime soon.