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May 18, 2011 08:12 PM

'Local Koreans' on Korean Food in Honolulu

The following link was on a friend's facebook page, thought it was chow-worthy (made me hungry too)

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  1. Our favorite was Choi's Garden on Rycroft over the much talked about Sorobol. The food was much tastier in my personal opinion. Used to think Kim Chee II in Kaimuki was pretty good but recently it has gone down hill. But hey, I'm just a tourist!

    Choi's Restaurant
    1303 Rycroft St, Honolulu, HI 96814

    1 Reply
    1. re: Clinton

      pretty much agree with your assessment. the whole kim-chee chain sort of did a crash and burn, and its really a shame, but there are some things that can't be saved with msg and chili pepper alone, and that was the problem.

      I did like Choi's garden, but surprisingly my Korean friends from LA were not that impressed, but they liked OnDong a lot, eastern paradise was closed that night.

      Choi's Restaurant
      1303 Rycroft St, Honolulu, HI 96814

    2. Thanks for the interesting link. Think I will keep Seoul Garden and Yakinuku Seoul in mind the next time I'm in the mood for Korean food. Those two sound the most appealing to my taste. Been to Sorabol and enjoyed it, but would like to try some others, just wasn't sure which were good so this was very helpful.

      It's funny how Kim Chee used to be considered so good when they first opened. The one place I miss used to be on Monsarrat, was it BBQ House (???), a popular local spot now an Italian restaurant.

      2 Replies
      1. re: curiousgeo

        (caveat: i'm not even close to korean decent) i recommend "Ah Lang" at Cooke and Kapi'olani....the angry korean lady, a 1 woman show. do your research first, follow the rules. i'd show up at least an hour before she closes, bc she closes when she feels like closing. her food is served family style, and its damn good. chive pancake is a must - big buggah! the bulgogi and meat jun are money and i'm looking forward to exploring more of the menu. havent had 'em yet, but her wings are supposed to be amazing. its a fun experience with some soulful food. only 1 of the dudes in that article mentioned it:

        No. 4: Ah Lang (aka Angry Korean Lady) — This one-woman-show has become quite the Internet rage spanning back a year or so as people have showed up at her tiny space at Imperial Plaza just to see how angry she really is. The truth is, she's not angry at all. She just doesn't have time for everyday pleasantries. She's too busy cooking, serving, collecting money, answering the phone and doing dishes. But her dedication to her restaurant shows up in her food. Everything is natural and homemade. She even grows some of the vegetables in her food herself. Her spicy pork is particularly tender and tasty, and I'm always a sucker for home made mandoo.
        — Ah Lang, 725 Kapiolani Blvd., 808-596-0600

        1. re: fatstern

          The wings alone are worth a detour.

      2. My wife and I tried Seoul Garden this past weekend, our first visit there. I'd say more than half of the customers were Koreans and the rest locals which I took as a good indication of the food quality. Overall it was a good experience and we intend to go back again soon.

        Service was generally good, the only glitch was our waitress spoke very little English so communication was difficult. Being our first visit we asked a few questions about the menu which she couldn't answer. I asked what was in the oxtail soup and she replied "oxtail!". I tried to clarify what was in the soup, how it was prepared and she replied "oxtail!!!!!". I then asked what the difference was in the stone pot dishes and she pointed to another table and said "they order same!" Unfortunately the table had already finished dinner and were paying their bill. I asked what was in the stone pot and she replied "just rice!!!!!"

        Ok,,,,,,,,,,,, so we ended up ordering stone pot bi bim bap and mun doo kook soo> Both dishes were good and we enjoyed the food. The dumplings were nicely done with a firm texture, they didn't fall apart in the soup. The stone pot was sizzling when it came to the table and the rice was nicely browned and crispy. When I mixed all the ingredients it made for a tasty meal with all the side dishes served. I really liked the cucumber and won bok kim chee, very tasty.

        Quite a few people were ordering the mixed bbq and the meat selections looked really nice. We'll probably order that next time we eat here. Someone nearby had a great looking fish dish and we were tempted to ask what it was, but figured our waitresses answer would be "fish!!!!" So besides that glitch it was a positive experience and we shall return, hoping for a different server next time.

        1. Yakiniku Hiroshi, the best and most expensive in Waikiki

          Yakiniku Hiroshi
          339 Royal Hawaiian Ave, Honolulu, HI 96815

          1 Reply
          1. re: russkar

            hehehe, high end japanese style korean food. but it is good