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Jan 23, 2009 06:58 AM

Korean in MSP?

I'll be visiting Minneapolis next month (and possibly moving there in the next year). I currently live outside of Washington D.C. and near lots of amazing Korean restaurants. Are there any good ones in MSP?

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  1. Korean here is fine, but there's not a place that I would recommend as a must-see for a visitor who otherwise has access to decent Korean.

    Here's a pretty good run down of the local Korean scene:

    Also, a discussion on Korea Restaurant and Dong Yang:

    My take: King's and Dong Yang are probably the best from a food standpoint. King's is more expensive, but Dong Yang has zero atmosphere - a true chowhound type of place. Depends what you're looking for.

    I also like the food at Korea Restaurant. If I'm in St. Paul, I will also go to KumGangSan.

    Kings Restaurant
    1051 Moore Lake Dr E, Minneapolis, MN 55432

    Dong Yang Oriental Food
    735 45th Ave NE, Minneapolis, MN 55421

    Korea Restaurant
    211 Oak St SE, Minneapolis, MN 55414

    Kum Gang San
    694 Snelling Ave, N St Paul, MN

    11 Replies
    1. re: bob s

      Thanks! I definitely am more about the food than the atmosphere, so will try to hit Dong Yang. Yumm....

      1. re: khabu

        I am an Asian mutt of Korean and Japanese ancestries and have lived in the Twin Cities for 2+ years. Korean food here is really not very good. For one thing, the state law prohibits restaurants from offering table-top cooking. I occasionally go to Dong Yang for some things and the Mirror of Korea for some other things. But, they are just not the best quality. I fill my Korean food cravings when I visit relatives in the Bay Area or visit other big cities with larger Korean populations.

        1. re: Ms. Fennelbulb

          you're kidding me! so there's no korean BBQ??!! that makes me very sad...

          1. re: khabu

            I'm looking at an ad for Korea Restaurant in the latest edition of Korea Quarterly which says "All kinds of Korean food! including our specialty: Ko Dung uh Jorim (fish, veggie, tofu, spicy stir-fry) COOK AT TABLE!" My Korean is a more than a little rusty (i.e., virtually non-existent), so I don't know if this is more of a traditional BBQ or not. I haven't seen this when I've been there, but it's been a couple of months. Maybe they have something new.

            Also, there was an ad for a place I've never heard of before: Park'a BBQ Grill & Buffet (lists Korean, Japanse and Chinese). They advertise a "Kalbi Buffet with Korean Panchan" along with "Korean BBQ Grill." It's located in Hillcrest Shopping Center 11626 Whie Bear Avenue, St. Paul. Has anyone tried this place?

          2. re: Ms. Fennelbulb

            I don't know if it's exactly true that there's a law against it. I've had BBQ at Kum Gang San (it may have been Shilla at the time) on an electric grill. They have cut outs in some of the tables and they put the grill in the middle. It's been a while since I've had it though (a few years), so if your heart is set on grilling, I'd call first.

            Also know that even though they may have grilling, I would not call Kum Gang San especially good Korean food.

            1. re: bob s

              I have to wonder about the law as well -- there are fondue places with gas at the tables.

              1. re: mncharm

                And Tonic and Chino had the hot stone on which to grill kobe...

                1. re: Foureyes137

                  Hmmm, when I moved here 2+ years ago, my Korean friends told me that the state law prohibited table-top cooking at restaurants, and hence no Korean BBQ. I took their word for it. But, perhaps it refers only to the table-top cooking involving charcoal. Speaking of laws and restaurant food, people at various Chinese restaurants and Peninsula restaurant told me that the state law does not allow them to serve on choy/on toy.

                  1. re: Ms. Fennelbulb

                    That much IS true. Whichever name you choose to call it (chinese watercress, morning glory, water spinach, hollow vegetable...) the health militia deemed it unhealthy due to its apparent propensity to collect bacteria in its hollow stalks. Silly nonsense actually. It is served in every market in the US outside of this one (overstated maybe???) and throughout Asia without incident. We eat it daily in Bangkok, and just enjoyed it all last weekend in Chinatown in NYC. I'm still taking in air and walking upright so apparently didn't die.

                    I've gotten sicker on dirty lettuce than I ever have with on choy.

                    /end rant


            2. re: Ms. Fennelbulb

              A couple of months ago I had a meal cooked at the table on a gas griddle at Hoa Bien at University and Lexington.

              I've had cooked at the table food in the mid-30's in Manhattan, supposed by my foodie friends to be very good Korean BBQ.

              I prefer bulgogi, bi-bim bap, dol suk and kalbi to the table BBQ.

            3. re: khabu

              I second Dong Yang. Get their short rib grill. You will not be disappointed.