Korean in Koreatown
My husband and I have lived in the city 3 years, and have yet to try Korean food. That changes tonight!
We have heard that Cho Dang Gol is good, but having read your past posts, it's only so-so.
We have never had Korean, and would like to go somewhere that is a good place for Korean Food newbies.
Cho Dang Gol
55 W 35th St, New York, NY 10001
Honestly, most are about the same. There are a few restaurants that specialize in certain dishes, but for the most part they offer the same menu and in terms of quality are more or less similar. That said, I would I suggest Shilla, Han Bat, BCD Tofu House, and Kunjip. Lately, I've been going to BCD Tofu and Kunjip.
9 W 32nd St, New York, NY 10001
37 W 32nd St, New York, NY 10001
53 W 35th St, New York, NY 10001
BCD Tofu House
17 W 32nd St, New York, NY 10001
Okay, given that you don't have any allergies or food restrictions or preferences, any of the places I mention should do. I suggest you order or try some of the following to get an idea of Korean food. These are some of the stuff I order when I eat out with non-Korean friends who've never had Korean food.
kimchee gigae or soondobu gigae
bulgogi or kalbi
Hope this helps and enjoy!
I think kimchi jigae is something reserved for a more seasoned Korean food eater. Many newbies I know aren't too fond of eating sour pickled veggies in a softened soupy state. But all of your other recs are spot on.
Another one that's generally a crowd fave -- japchae -- seasoned vermicelli noodles with meat, seafood and veggies.
One other note that I remember from clicking on some menus - the division of Korean restaurant menus tends to not follow western norms. For instance "appetizers" are sometimes pretty darn large dishes.
Price can be a little bit of a clue, but not always.
Yes and no about the kimchee jigae. It depends really on you. I've known non-Koreans who've taken to kimchee and dishes incorporating kimchee from the word go. My college roommate/friend used to wolf down the kimchee I would drag back from home during visits; the foods I would bring back were her first foray into Korean food. I've known others as well like her. Only you and your husband can decide based on your preferences and level of adventure.
As for Korean food and dairy, most Korean dishes do not feature dairy products, especially what's offered in K-town. The only time where you may have to be careful is the desserts, especially if they are western-style versions. The traditional Korean desserts normally do not have any diary.
Sorry, but one more thing. Koreans don't normally have desserts with meals. If they do have something, it's normally a piece of fruit or something small. At the end of your meal, the servers will probably give you a piece of candy or cookie or some fruit, usually segments of sliced orange. So don't expect or plan on ordering a dessert as part of your meal.