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May 25, 2010 05:53 AM

Any authentic Korean around here?

I have a friend who used to live in NYC and loves Korean and says she has not been able to find authentic (or just really good) Korean here in Boston. I would not know 'authentic Korean' if I fell over it, so help me out here. Where is the best Korean in the Boston area?

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  1. Am no expert, nor am I Korean, but has she tried Korean Garden in Allston or Wuchon House in Union Sq. in Somerville? Allston, of course, also has Color, Hanmaru, Roppongi, Buk Kyung II, etc.

    1243 Commonwealth Ave, Allston, MA 02134

    Buk Kyung
    MA, MA

    Korean Garden
    122 Harvard Ave, Allston, MA 02134

    Hanmaru Restaurant
    168 Harvard Ave, Allston, MA 02134

    2 Replies
    1. re: Taralli

      unfortunately wuchon house closed back in february

    2. I would say that Boston has a number of "quite good" Korean places, notably Chung Ki Wa in Medford, but nothing really outstanding. I am very sad that Wu Chon House has closed. Koreana has some good dishes on its menu. The original Buk Kyung (i.e. Hometown) in Union Square, Somerville, is good for a particular variety of Korean food. Your friend would also probably enjoy a trip to H-Mart in Burlington or to Myung Dong 1st Ave in Allston.

      154 Prospect Street, Cambridge, MA 02139

      Chung Ki Wa
      27 Riverside Ave, Medford, MA 02155

      3 Old Concord Rd, Burlington, MA 01803

      4 Replies
      1. re: lipoff

        Had lunch at Buk Kyung in Union Square today. I have no idea if it's authentic, but it's mighty tasty. We shared the kimchi omelet and the spicy seafood stew (luncheon special). The banchan is fine, certainly not a dizzying array of flavors. but their kimchi blows my home-made stuff outta the park. I suppose it should ... I've made exactly one batch and they've been doing it for years?

        I find the atmosphere really dreary and the sweet proprietress really kind. But if it's about the food, I think this place is worth a visit. They will be having chilled noodles (buckwheat) in July.

        Buk Kyung
        MA, MA

        1. re: yumyum

          I agree with the general comments her about Buk Kyung. The restaurant is nothing special to look at but the food always reminds me of my mom's own homecooking.

          Buk Kyung
          MA, MA

          1. re: CreativeFoodie42

            I love BK as well, especially the ja-jun-myen. Delicious toothsome noodles with salty black bean seafood sauce.

            1. re: Prav

              My parents are friends with the owners and I've been eating the jajangmyun noodles there for years! I love that they bring you scissors - so old school.

      2. i like color and roppongi in allston for korean fried chicken, buk kyung/hometown in somerville and buk kyung II in allston for korean-style chinese food, chung ki wa in medford and koreana in cambridge for korean bbq, and minsok in brookline and korean garden in allston for all around korean food. i'm sure i'm forgetting others

        there are a bunch of korean stands in the food court at h-mart in burlington. i like woojeon (the stand next to the panchan section) the best. you can also get patbingsoo (korean shaved ice) at color, between hours pc cafe in allston, and tous le jours bakery in the h-mart food court

        1. I'm also no expert, but I do have a Korean friend who lives in the 'burbs (he grew up in Korea and moved here as an adult) and every time he comes into the city to visit he insists we go to Yasu in Coolidge Corner. He introduced me to bibimbap there.

          4 Replies
          1. re: BobB

            We went to Yasu years ago and then recently and enjoyed it both times. We've been to Korea a couple of times between these visits and the difference is that I now find Yasu a bit Americanized. Things are a little sweeter and less spicy. But overall, it's not bad. Anyone from Korea will find issues with any of the places we have. Asian restaurants here have to serve everything as opposed to specializing in the one or two dishes they do best. In Korea, places may serve noodles or stews or suchi but not usually all three. Hence, very few dishes at any one restaurant are really good.

            1. re: gourmaniac

              Any recommendations? We're thinking of going there Saturday night.

              1. re: Berheenia

                The things i've liked are the Tofu stew and the spicy squid (a little chewy though). they have a nice spread of panchan but nothing out of the ordinary. I see a lot of Koreans having the BBQ table (bulgogi or galbi) but not tried this myself. For reference, galbi was the one thing in Korea that i was dissapointed about from the price to quality point.

                1. re: gourmaniac

                  We went with some Korean savvy diners and everyone loved it. We had two selections of bulgogi and after ordering some watery drinks stuck with Sapporo. After dinner we went to the new Jae's - Buddachen- for some non watery drinks in the bar. The dining room was dead.Thanks for your suggestions.

          2. Seoul Food, a tiny Mom and Pop on Mass Ave in Cambridge, serves what Koreans eat at home with very reasonable prices.
            Robert Snyder

            7 Replies
            1. re: rsnyder

              Oh man, I've had the worst experiences there. Mediocre food with gristly meat, and the proprietor lady hovered over my table like some angry mother-in-law.

              1. re: Prav

                Your description and rsnyder's aren't necessarily mutually exclusive :)

                1. re: Prav

                  i had the exact same experience at seoul food. the owner was also really snippy about giving us more panchan

                2. re: rsnyder

                  Agree with Prav, the food at Seoul food is horribly bad. Some of the worst Korean food I have EVER eaten.

                  1. re: StriperGuy

                    Yes, I agree. The only palatable thing there is the bibimbap, but I would avoid Seoul Food if at all possible.

                    1. re: lipoff

                      The lady got so mad at us because one of our party members (we were 5) wanted two sides instead of one entree. Even though the price of the two sides was more than the cheapest entree price. Bizarre, passive behavior.

                      1. re: Prav

                        I am honestly stunned that that place stays in business.