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Korean in Ann Arbor Area

e
Elyssa Nov 1, 2013 07:30 AM

I love, love, love Korean food but we haven't had a chance to explore the Korean restaurants in and around Ann Arbor.

Our dry cleaner told us Seoul Garden is supposed to be good. Any thoughts?

What are your favorite Korean restaurants and what do you like to order there (note: we tend to not eat a lot of pork).

Thanks!

  1. j
    Jim M Nov 1, 2013 08:30 AM

    You absolutely cannot go wrong! It's one of the gems of this area's cuisine.

    My Korean friend told me that Hana on E. Michigan Ave. in Ypsilanti was the most authentic. I greatly enjoy Arirang (Military Stew is great, but is a pork dish). Seoul Garden is terrific and has such exotica as cod sperm soup (actually milt, not sperm). Plymouth Rd. has two superb spots, Seoul Street (the thing to get there is the fried chicken—be prepared to wait, but well worth it; this place is unsigned and is in the back of the center where Great Plains Burger is), and Be Won, out by U.S. 23. The woman at Dabu Sushi at Carpenter and Ellsworth is a good Korean home cook, and if you're into banchan she has some very unusual ones she makes herself. Even the small places near the U-M are good—try the University Cafe on Church for a great hot stone bowl dishes that will still be hot 45 minutes after you get them. Lovely stuff in midwinter.

    1 Reply
    1. re: Jim M
      m
      Michigan Mishuganer Nov 1, 2013 09:19 AM

      good point about Dabu,
      many of the sushi restaurants are owned by Koreans & have some Korean food on the menu like Biwako, Sushi.come etc.

    2. m
      Michigan Mishuganer Nov 1, 2013 08:40 AM

      we found Seoul Garden to be the worst of the local Korean restaurants,
      there are many.

      my favorites more or less in order
      I often go w/ DH who eats veggie & fin/scale fish only.

      my favorite-Hana (Michigan Ave Ypsilanti)
      BeWon (Plymouth Rd)
      Kangs (South U- best Korean food close to campus)
      Seoul Street (Plymouth Rd- street food style)
      Arriang (Oak Valley)
      Panda (Packard)
      Bells (Stadium, not as good as it used to be)
      University Cafe & JC Rich ( both near campus , I like Kangs better)

      others include Kosmo ,Rod's, Broadway cafe - I've never tried these places.

      the weirdest Korean Restaurant, the Coffee Shop inside the courthouse Huron & Main ( mostly coffee shop food w/ one stir fry type dish on the menu)

      just about everyone will make veggie dishes w/ tofu no meat
      also the local Korean markets have great banchan ( small side dishes) available so it's easy to have korean food at home.
      markets include Hyunadi(Platt next to gas station), Galleria (Packard), Manna (Broadway)

      1. m
        Michigan Mishuganer Nov 1, 2013 09:13 AM

        the Korean food is OK here but we don't have the variety of restaurants in areas like LA, NYC, Chicago & Balt./DC area.

        4 Replies
        1. re: Michigan Mishuganer
          e
          Elyssa Nov 1, 2013 12:21 PM

          I'm coming from DC and honestly it's the suburbs that has Korean food. DC proper doesn't have much to offer (except some awesome Korean food trucks where I got my first taste of Korean). I'm excited to check out all these great places....I didn't know there were so many restaurants here.

          1. re: Michigan Mishuganer
            m
            Markcron Nov 3, 2013 04:51 PM

            You just listed 10+ restaurants in a relatively small area of a mid size market.
            Then said this market doesn't have the variety of other places.
            What do you mean?
            Honestly, I was shocked to see the long list, and I'm looking forward to trying a few of these places.

            1. re: Markcron
              j
              Jim M Nov 3, 2013 06:55 PM

              Same Korean friend dined with me at the now-closed Seoul Korner (the cook is now at Arirang). She said she had ordered the same dish in Seoul several days earlier (can't remember which one), and this one was better.

              1. re: Markcron
                m
                Michigan Mishuganer Nov 6, 2013 01:18 PM

                I just meant that most restaurants have the same menu, not as much variety as in bigger cities.
                LA even has a North Korean restaurant ( not that I'm expecting that much variety in Ann Arbor!)

            2. t
              trapani Nov 1, 2013 06:46 PM

              I second the recs for BeWon & Seoul Street. Check out Mana Grocery (on Broadway)--great ready-made products.

              1. j
                Jim M Nov 1, 2013 07:10 PM

                There's also a big new Korean supermarket if you want to try it yourself—Galleria on Packard, east of Platt. I also like Broadway Cafe, which is very simple, also sells cheesesteaks, and has been there for years.

                1. e
                  Elyssa Nov 26, 2013 08:40 AM

                  We went to Seoul Garden last night (at the recommendation of our drycleaner :) ) and had a great meal. We didn't really know what to expect, nor did we know it was a Korean BBQ but the meal was tasty and a lot of fun. We got the bulgogi and the spicy chicken. I would say the beef was the best dish, although the chicken was good as well.

                  We loved all the little side dishes they gave us. Realllly flavorful. There were tasty fish cakes, kimchee, mushrooms in sesame oil, and great chili paste, among other things.

                  Song, who was our waitress but also might be one of the owners, was a delight. She was chatty and explained everything (my husband was a Korean BBQ first timer) and even brought out extra daikon since that's her favorite way to eat the steak.

                  We'll definitely return (although probably not order as much food...we have a TON of leftovers).

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