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Korean BBQ for large group, in K-town? (Other than Kum Gang San)

c
cstadler Nov 19, 2010 12:00 PM

Where would you recommend a group of 10 go for Korean BBQ in K-town? My only contender is Kum Gang San, which I'm very familiar with but would like to try something new. Extra credit: large banchan variety, not super expensive.

Thanks for your help!

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Kum Gang San
49 W 32nd St, New York, NY 10001

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  1. coasts RE: cstadler Nov 19, 2010 01:34 PM

    Ma Dang Sui on 35th has long been our favorite in KTown for BBQ.

    http://www.madangsui.com/

    10 Replies
    1. re: coasts
      p
      Pan RE: coasts Nov 19, 2010 07:11 PM

      2nd the recommendation, but I think Don's Bogam may be even better, overall, though I prefer the banchan at Madangsui slightly. I was really happy with a recent meal there as part of a party of 4. Excellent meat marinated in hot sauce.

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      Madangsui
      35 W 35th St, New York, NY 10001

      Don's Bogam
      17 E 32nd St, New York, NY 10016

      1. re: Pan
        coasts RE: Pan Nov 19, 2010 07:16 PM

        i like Don's, but not so much for barbecue. if i remember, they don't give the usual accompaniments like grilled onion, scallion, pepper or garlic. i feel like their ssam is very basic, although they do give the thin radish slices.

        1. re: coasts
          p
          Pan RE: coasts Nov 19, 2010 07:28 PM

          They do give scallions. They didn't give us raw garlic initially, but did bring it when I asked for it. I feel sure they would have given us hot peppers, too, if I had asked for them. You're right about the onions, though.

          One item in their banchan was something I hadn't had before: Very powerful pickled ginger with jalapeno slices. Quite good. I also liked the kimchi, bean sprouts with sesame oil, and broccoli with sesame oil sides a lot, but the radish kimchi was a bit sweet and not as powerful as I prefer. And I did miss the complimentary dwaenjang jigae and egg with broth (don't remember the Korean name) that everyone gets at Madangsui.

          What do you most like to order at Don's? We also got some softshell crabs, which were good.

          1. re: Pan
            coasts RE: Pan Nov 19, 2010 07:33 PM

            i like their Fire Dak (super spicy chicken with sweet potato, pepper and onions) and their Jayook Kimchi Bokum (kimchi with tofu and pork).

            1. re: coasts
              p
              Pan RE: coasts Nov 19, 2010 08:01 PM

              I think I might have had the Fire Dak the other time I went to Don's.

        2. re: Pan
          l
          Lau RE: Pan Nov 20, 2010 06:22 AM

          id go don bogam or madangsui, the quality of the bbq is roughly the same although i think some of the chigaes (soups) at don bogam are pretty decent as well...don bogam is nicer decore wise as well. make sure to make a reservation

          1. re: Pan
            Miss Needle RE: Pan Nov 20, 2010 06:58 AM

            I agree with you about Madangsui's banchan. I think both would be fine, but I'd probably pick Madangsui based on the OP's banchan preference.

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            Madangsui
            35 W 35th St, New York, NY 10001

            1. re: Miss Needle
              p
              Pan RE: Miss Needle Nov 20, 2010 02:43 PM

              Good point, and well taken.

          2. re: coasts
            k
            kathryn RE: coasts Nov 19, 2010 07:11 PM

            2nd, I've seen really large parties in there as well.

            1. re: kathryn
              coasts RE: kathryn Nov 19, 2010 07:17 PM

              i've been as a group of eight and felt as though we were treated well.

          3. c
            cstadler RE: cstadler Nov 22, 2010 07:13 AM

            Thanks, everyone! Going to go to Madangsui, per your advice :-)

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            Madangsui
            35 W 35th St, New York, NY 10001

            1. r
              Riverman500 RE: cstadler Feb 20, 2011 01:00 PM

              Based on everyone's recommendations, our group tried Korean bbq at Madangsui this afternoon. Am I missing something? I thought the food was insipid - limp pa jun, overcooked chicken breast, flavorless bulgogi. The banchan was decent, and I did like the simmering egg in hot broth thing.

              Even though I'm not an expert in Korean food, I was surprised that Madangsui didn't make a stronger impression. Maybe it was an off day?

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              Madangsui
              35 W 35th St, New York, NY 10001

              8 Replies
              1. re: Riverman500
                coasts RE: Riverman500 Feb 20, 2011 02:02 PM

                did you have table barbecue or kitchen-prepared dishes? sounds like the latter. we like Madangsui for barbecue, specifically. they season their LA Galbi very well and their ssam accompaniments are usually fresh and abundant. to be honest, i don't think i've ever had anything from the kitchen.

                we really like the pajun at Gahm Mi Oak and the spicy chicken at Don's, but we generally just cook these two dishes at home. bulgogi - i don't know that i've ever had this out. i'm just guessing that Kum Gang San has a good interpretation, as they cater to a more American crowd and bulgogi is a go-to dish for non-Koreans.

                sorry you didn't have a better experience. how was the chicken dish prepared?

                1. re: coasts
                  r
                  Riverman500 RE: coasts Feb 20, 2011 02:21 PM

                  We had the table barbecue - two orders of the combo, which included bulgogi, and one order of the non-spicy chicken, The servers did the barbecuing at our table. For starters we had the seafood pancake and the scallion pancake, both underwhelming, and the pork/beef steamed dumplings, which were quite good.

                  Next time we'll try Don's Bogam.

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                  Don's Bogam
                  17 E 32nd St, New York, NY 10016

                  1. re: Riverman500
                    coasts RE: Riverman500 Feb 20, 2011 02:26 PM

                    hhmmm...in my book, there's two types of barbecue - LA gabli (beef short ribs sliced thin on the bone) and samgyupsal (pork belly). i can't see chicken being very good like this.

                    1. re: coasts
                      r
                      Riverman500 RE: coasts Feb 20, 2011 02:29 PM

                      Good to know. We'll try beef short ribs and pork belly on our next Korean barbecue excursion.

                      1. re: Riverman500
                        coasts RE: Riverman500 Feb 20, 2011 02:41 PM

                        unfortunately we haven't found a place in Manhattan that does pork belly right. its best when, at the end of the meal, the server mixes rice, gochujang, seaweed, sprouts, and sesame oil on the grill pan to make a paella-type dish. the flavors from the grill mix into the rice and you soon realize that the main course was really just the vehicle to get you to the rice dish.

                        there's a place in Flushing off Northern, further east from the main drag. all i remember is that it's under an LIRR station. maybe someone could help identify it.

                        1. re: coasts
                          squid kun RE: coasts Feb 20, 2011 02:52 PM

                          Maybe Tong Sam Gyup Gui near the LIRR Broadway station ... http://www.chow.com/digest/7081/korea...

                          1. re: squid kun
                            coasts RE: squid kun Feb 23, 2011 03:03 AM

                            yes, definitely...and great link. thanks!

                      2. re: coasts
                        p
                        Pan RE: coasts Feb 23, 2011 12:55 AM

                        Me neither, but in the past, I've had great marinated bulgogi as well as galbi at Madangsui. I couldn't say why it wouldn't have been good at Riverman's recent visit; I haven't been there for the better part of a year, I think.

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