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Aug 9, 2014 07:53 AM

Korean in dinkytown

I know there are 3-4 spots. Which is the best?

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  1. Only been to Korea. Liked it, myself. "Best", of course, depends on what criteria you are evaluating. The food was tasty, the ambience is great for people-watching but pretty close to zero otherwise, and the prices were OK. Living in St. Paul I'd just as soon go to Sole or Shilla, but this was a good choice in the area, IMHO.

    1. The soft tofu house is good for the soft tofu soup. I haven't really ventured out too much, but if the name implies that it is pretty focused, I usually go with it.

      1. I've been to Korea Restaurant and Soft Tofu House. I think Dong Yang is better, but it's up Central at 45th.

        20 Replies
        1. re: JimGrinsfelder

          Am I the only one that has found Dong Yang not worth the effort? I've only been once, but was sorely disappointed.

          I've been to Korea Restaurant once and enjoyed it.

          1. re: jaycooke

            Jay, yup. You're the only one.

            What'd you order? I like the kalbi, the spicy pork stir fry, the omlette/pancake/seafood thing they do, the banchans, and the dol sot. I prefer it over Korea Restaurant.

            1. re: JimGrinsfelder

              I got the Dolsot Bi Bim Bap. Must have been an off night then.

              1. re: jaycooke

                Doubt it. My wife's Korean and we occasionally give in and eat there while shopping for groceries. We've found it to be generally subpar. Your mileage may vary depending mostly on where you've accrued your mileage.

                1. re: My_Annoying_Opinions

                  M_A_O, what Korean restaurants in town do you and your wife like?

                  1. re: ChancesR

                    The only one that passed muster is Hoban in Eagan.

                    Please keep in mind that our immediate frame of reference is Koreatown in Los Angeles, which is sort of like an extension of Seoul. Given the demographics here it's not possible for the Korean restaurants to be as good*. Mostly she prefers to buy groceries from Dong Yang and cook at home--which is, I realize, not a viable fallback option for everyone.

                    *Unfortunately, true of most Asian cuisines here. We haven't been here long enough to convince ourselves otherwise (only seven years). It doesn't help that we go back to LA regularly to visit family.

                    1. re: My_Annoying_Opinions

                      Interesting. What other top Asian restaurants have you tried here that don't quite measure up?

                      1. re: ChancesR

                        Pretty much everything other than Grand Szechuan, On's Kitchen, Bangkok Thai Deli and Szechuan Spice (but they have such a limited Sichuan menu). Little Szechuan in their heyday were pretty good but that's some time past now. Peninsula's menu, if carefully navigated, has some decent stuff. And don't get me started on Indian food (I'm from New Delhi).

                        1. re: My_Annoying_Opinions

                          Okay, we'll save Indian food for another conversation. What is your opinion of Tea House? Also, what do you like at Peninsula?

                          1. re: ChancesR

                            We last ate at Tea House in 2008 and saw no reason to drive further to get there given Little Szechuan. These days we alternate between Grand Szechuan and Szechuan Spice.

                            At Peninsula we mostly restrict ourselves to the following dishes (after some years of trial and error): the roti-canai*; the rendangs; the nyonya laksa; the steamed hainanese chicken rice (the chicken is good, the rice is okay); and some of the stir-fries with the fermented shrimp paste.

                            *Their roti-canai, ironically, is the closest you can come in the Twin Cities (or for that matter most cities in the US) to proper Indian parathas and chicken curry as they would be made at home.

                            1. re: My_Annoying_Opinions

                              Well, Penang is just a short hop across the Bay of Bengal from Chennai.

                              1. re: ChancesR

                                Yeah, I don't know if you've been to Singapore but the Indian food there is great (as is the Malay food, of course, of course).

                          2. re: My_Annoying_Opinions

                            Have you been to Bawarchi? Pretty good biryani and so forth. Service is a shambles (especially if it's busy) and they often don't have stuff that's on the menu such as dosas. I ignore the service hassle and go there for lunch at least 3 times a week.

                            1. re: steamer

                              I'll start a new thread for Indian/South Asian.

                          3. re: ChancesR

                            I should have added, of course, that my comments don't apply to Hmong and Vietnamese food.

                            Don't get me wrong: the Asian food scene here is getting better--it's much better now than when we arrived in 2007, but, on the whole, it's not quite "good" in the abstract. I do hope it'll keep getting better as we're probably going to be in Minnesota a long time.

                            1. re: My_Annoying_Opinions

                              I have some general comments about all this in my recent'ish review of Yangtze on my blog. I hope it is not seen as "spamming" if I post the link here in the context of this conversation:

                              1. re: My_Annoying_Opinions

                                Nice write-up on Yangtze - thanks. I especially like your photos/captions. Amusing comment about the crab on a stick.

                                1. re: ChancesR

                                  I love your Grand Szechuan review. I love that place. We try to go every Sunday. Best service of any chinese place I've been to. Food is awesome too.

                                  1. re: kriminalrat

                                    Thanks. After writing them up twice I've stopped reviewing every meal we eat there (it's pretty much our go-to place). That said, we really liked the our meal at Szechuan Spice as well, and should probably go back soon.