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Which is your fave Korean spot in Allston?

n
nasilemak Mar 14, 2011 08:00 PM

Not familiar with the spots in Allston and would love to hear what you have to say.

  1. a
    ace52387 Jul 27, 2011 10:02 AM

    In general Korean Garden is a good choice. I've had the Jabchae, bibimnaengmyun, haemul Jungol and a lamb jungol, all of which were pretty good. If your party is big enough, they have a large array of banchan but the service isn't always the greatest. They don't really tend to refill water or banchan unless you ask.

    I've never been picky about ddokbokki but I tend to like the one in color as it seems to be thicker, heavier on the gochujang and not so much on the ketchup (nasty). I hate the one at Korean Garden which is just the opposite. Color also has nice bokkum dishes, like soondae gopchang bokkum, and the kimbab isn't bad.

    Gamja tang at hanmaru has got to be my favorite dish overall in the area, but Myung Dong has a bunch of stuff that you can't find anywhere else.

    Bosam, pork belly with slightly fermented cabbage and a salad of radishes and oysters in a spicy dressing is awesome. I feel like the pork belly should be grilled? but I could be wrong on that. This version is boiled, cold cut. The oyster salad is absolutely amazing though. I had something similar with apple slices in korea that was unbelievable and this is the closest thing i've found to that.

    They also have jokbal, pigs feet served in slices, and it comes with samjang and this fermented shrimp sauce that is devilishly salty but also totally delicious if you only apply a little. Haven't seen these dishes anywhere else.

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    Korean Garden
    122 Harvard Ave, Allston, MA 02134

    2 Replies
    1. re: ace52387
      galangatron Jul 27, 2011 10:20 AM

      chung ki wa in medford has jokbal and the late wuhon house in somerville had bossam

      1. re: galangatron
        a
        ace52387 Jul 27, 2011 10:51 AM

        I just looked at the menu and it looks like chung ki wa has bossam also. How are these dishes there?

        Do you by any chance know of a good place to get soondaegookbab?

    2. a
      another_adam Mar 18, 2011 08:23 PM

      Nab got my opinion right on :) but just to add a little:

      - For soju and soups, Myeong Dong 1st Ave has been my recent fave. We like their tofu kimchi (which is completely unlike any version I've had anywhere outside Boston, and is even a bit different from the version at Bukkyung, at least in the shape of the tofu slices), and most of the soups I've had there have been decent (clam soup, budae stew, hangover stew, jeongol, etc.) They are the only place I know in town where you can get golbengi (sea snails? whelks?). There are also some things I'd avoid- for example their rolled egg (gyeran mari) is huge and greasy but not that special. Fun place to hang out, drink rounds of soju, and watch SNSD, Supernova, and 2NE1 blaring from the TVs. And like Nab says, it's where you want to be on your birthday! I *don't* really care for their maggeolli, but they have several kinds of soju, and as the night wears on, I'm a sucker for yogurt soju. I've never had their "meat entrees". We have gone around dinnertime and gotten things like bibimbap, which were fine.

      - All around, I tend to head for Korea Garden. The soups are generally good, and they have specials. (One of the few places in town to do naengmyeon reasonably well in the summer, which is surprising given that they don't specialize in noodles, or really, in anything in particular). Their banchan is clearly better than anywhere else I can think of, and I'm usually happy to find that their renditions of things are like I expect them to be (i.e., pretty authentic). I've also never had their meat/bbq, but things like bibimbap, stir fries (boggeum) are all solid. They also have porridge (pine nut, abalone), but I've never ordered it, since we tend to make those at home. They were recently advertising a special of "fresh al-tang" (roe soup) which caught my attention, but I never made it back in to get a bowl, I'm not sure if they still have it. I did get al tang once at either Korea Garden or MD 1st Ave, and it was surprisingly generous with the roe.

      - I'm not a big fan of Bukkyung, but after Myeongdong 1st Ave opened, we revisited them, and discovered that their kimchi pancake with cheese is surprisingly tasty-- oily, covered in melted mozzarella, and salty, great with a beer. (not light food in any way shape or form) As Luther noted above, they specialize in Chinese Korean food (jjajjangmyeon and the like), which I don't really crave very often, so I'm not a fair judge. I do get mul naengmyeon there sometimes in the summer, it's OK.

      - Color's alright for a quick kimbab, but that's about the only thing I get there. I don't like their ddeokbokki/rabokki sauce (which reminds me that I don't like it at MD1st Ave, either).

      - I occasionally grab some soup or stew at the Misono Grill (or Wok? Whichever the one by JMP is). It's generally serviceable, but nothing to write home about, and sometimes kind of sorry. In particular, they do not have a way with noodles.

      - The internet cafe/coffee shop on Harvard makes a decent bingsu, now that the weather is getting warmer! (I can't remember its name-- we call it Timeless PC Time, but I think that's not the right name at all)

      What I would really love is a sundubu place, since that's something that really is best from a place that only sells that one thing!

      -----
      Misono Grill
      1095 Commonwealth Ave Ste 207, Boston, MA 02215

      3 Replies
      1. re: another_adam
        digga Mar 19, 2011 05:18 AM

        I'm sure you've already been there, but Chung Ki Wa in Medford had a good version of sundubu chigae. I have not been back in a really long time, thuough.

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        Chung Ki Wa
        27 Riverside Ave, Medford, MA 02155

        1. re: digga
          Nab Mar 19, 2011 09:17 AM

          Hey digga, we recently went to Chung Ki Wa and I remembered you had really dug their mackerel-pike (saury), and boy you're right, that was tasty, as was everything else there. There are quite a few things I would like to check out on their menu, including soondubu.

          -----
          Chung Ki Wa
          27 Riverside Ave, Medford, MA 02155

           
          1. re: Nab
            digga Mar 22, 2011 07:45 PM

            Glad to hear that the mackerel is still good. It's been too long since we've been there...wish the digs were just slightly nicer but they are genuine and earnest people running the joint. With the cold weather continuing, a big ol' bowl of chigae might be just the thing.

      2. crowdingthepan Mar 15, 2011 11:34 AM

        I'll second Hanmaru for gamjatang. On a cold, drizzly day, this stuff is medicine:

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        Hanmaru Restaurant
        168 Harvard Ave, Allston, MA 02134

         
        1. n
          nasilemak Mar 15, 2011 11:33 AM

          Had Darokukbap for lunch at Korean Garden. Nice semi-spicy beef broth but quite a bit of the beef itself was on the gristly side.

          -----
          Korean Garden
          122 Harvard Ave, Allston, MA 02134

          1. galangatron Mar 15, 2011 07:00 AM

            color, roppongi, and bon chon for korean fried chicken
            buk kyung II for korean-style chinese food
            korean garden for bbq and all around korean food
            myung dong for anju (korean bar snacks)
            misono grill for stone pot bibimbap with spicy pork bulgogi
            color and between hours pc cafe for patbingsoo

            1. Nab Mar 15, 2011 06:58 AM

              another_adam here on the board hipped me to Myeung Dong 1st Ave, as another option, particularly for drinking food (anju). And birthday parties. Man, they throw a good one ! It's a good idea to go with a group, as the food off the anju menu comes in ginormous platters to be washed down by vats of soju and beer. As another_adam notes, the soups & stews are quite good (better for small groups, too), in addition to the boozy fare like fried gizzards and broiled mackerel, pig's feet, pajeon, etc.

              http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/7100...

              8 Replies
              1. re: Nab
                StriperGuy Mar 15, 2011 07:38 AM

                Totally agree, loved that place the one time I had been...

                1. re: Nab
                  Trumpetguy Mar 15, 2011 08:40 AM

                  Yes! Went to Myeung Dong 1st Ave the other night and liked it much more than Korean Garden and Koreana.

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                  Koreana
                  154 Prospect Street, Cambridge, MA 02139

                  Korean Garden
                  122 Harvard Ave, Allston, MA 02134

                  1. re: Trumpetguy
                    Luther Mar 15, 2011 06:23 PM

                    It's a very specific thing... for when you want to drink fruity soju drinks and watch korean pop videos and sit on flimsy plastic chairs surrounded by korean BU kids... the drinking food is pretty solid

                    1. re: Luther
                      Nab Mar 15, 2011 07:21 PM

                      Best in class !

                      1. re: Nab
                        digga Mar 16, 2011 07:16 PM

                        OMG these descriptions are transporting me back to the mid 90's in the days of Club Nicole, followed by late night dinners at Ginza Chinatown when it was a zoo at 3am. And also transported back to Koreatown/Lawrence Ave in Chicago circa late 90's. I gotta get my ass to Myeung Dong.

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                        Ginza
                        16 Hudson St, Boston, MA 02111

                        1. re: digga
                          yumyum Mar 17, 2011 10:30 AM

                          I think you'd love it diggs.

                          1. re: yumyum
                            digga Mar 18, 2011 07:13 PM

                            LOL! YY - You know me too well! Maybe I'll see you there sometime! We'll share a jug of soju.

                      2. re: Luther
                        Trumpetguy Mar 16, 2011 09:13 AM

                        Don't know 'bout that, but we had octopus with noodles w/a spicy,sweet sauce & tofu seafood stew which was spicy as well. Both were spicier and generally better than similar dishes I've had at Koreana and Korean Garden. I skipped the soju and just tried a Korean beer :)

                        -----
                        Koreana
                        154 Prospect Street, Cambridge, MA 02139

                        Korean Garden
                        122 Harvard Ave, Allston, MA 02134

                  2. MC Slim JB Mar 15, 2011 05:18 AM

                    Luther pretty much nailed my perspective; I'd say Korean Garden is the most useful all-purpose player. I'd add Bon Chon Chicken for South Korean-style fried chicken (I haven't tried much else there.)

                    I remember the Korean across from Kantin at the Super 88 food court (Misono Grill?) being decent: is that still going? Also, did anyone else realize that the Hong Kong Supermarket chain is co-owned by Veronica Yip? (Don't GIS her at work.)

                    http://mcslimjb.blogspot.com/

                    -----
                    Kantin
                    1095 Commonwealth Ave Ste 203, Boston, MA 02215

                    Korean Garden
                    122 Harvard Ave, Allston, MA 02134

                    3 Replies
                    1. re: MC Slim JB
                      PinchOfSalt Mar 15, 2011 06:22 AM

                      I was at the Super88 food court about two weeks ago. The Korean place across from from Kantin is still there.

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                      Kantin
                      1095 Commonwealth Ave Ste 203, Boston, MA 02215

                      1. re: MC Slim JB
                        galangatron Mar 15, 2011 07:02 AM

                        there are actually two korean stalls at the food court. misono grill across from kantin and misono wok next to jmp international

                        1. re: MC Slim JB
                          kobuta Mar 15, 2011 05:09 PM

                          Yep, she's married to the man who owns the chain. Nice gossip fodder for the overseas Chinese community.

                          Now back on topic. I'd just second that I think Korea Garden is best of the overall - just have a general Korean meal type of place. I've eaten only a few times at Colors, and I like some of the food I've tried, but this place is more of a grab a bite before you go place, not really a place I would typically recommend if someone wants a go out to dinner experience.

                          Haven't tried Roppongi, but after having a Bon Chon a few times, I still crave it. It's a crazy addiction. I've only had their chicken though.

                          -----
                          Roppongi
                          1243 Commonwealth Ave, Allston, MA 02134

                        2. Luther Mar 15, 2011 04:21 AM

                          Hanmaru for gamjatang, Color for casual stuff like ddukboki, BKII for japchae and other "Chinese" dishes. I really like the atmosphere at Korean Garden but would say it's only so-so for BBQ as the meats aren't well seasoned. You do get a large number of banchan though.

                          -----
                          Korean Garden
                          122 Harvard Ave, Allston, MA 02134

                          Hanmaru Restaurant
                          168 Harvard Ave, Allston, MA 02134

                          1 Reply
                          1. re: Luther
                            okra Mar 15, 2011 07:18 AM

                            Thanks for helping out this gwailo :)

                            -----
                            Buk Kyung Restaurant
                            151 Brighton Ave, Allston, MA 02134

                            Color Restaurant
                            166 Harvard Ave, Allston, MA 02134

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