Lined with busy shops bearing Korean-language signs, Palisades Park's Broad Avenue is the "epicenter of life in Korean New Jersey," according to food blog Serious Eats. Nestled on this bustling strip is Hanbat Restaurant, the sister location of the Michelin-recommended Manhattan eatery of the same name. Hanbat's menu reveals its chefs' commitment to traditional Korean cuisine: iconic ingredients like kimchi and L.A. kalbi or marinated beef short ribs help chefs add their distinctive flavors to select dishes, and the barbecue section spotlights everything from grilled brisket to duck. The dishes' presentation also adds to this deeply rooted sense of authenticity: in addition to serving rice in hot stone bowls, chefs also stir-fry a couple of entrees tableside, incorporating pork belly, vegetables, and a choice of seafood into the mix.
For lunch, design your own dish with a yakiniku grilling set. Try the U.S. Kobe beef set ($22), which includes 3.5-ounce portions of both Harami skirt steak and chuck rib. For non-grillers, the garlic-noodles bowl (from $8) or hot-stone-pot bibimbap (from $8) side well with an order of Kurosawa cold sake ($9). The dinner menu includes everything from grilled veggies such as fresh asparagus ($5), broccoli ($4), or garlic button mushrooms ($4) to spicy Chilean sea bass ($15). Noodle dishes including goma negi ramen or udon ($9) and chicken garlic noodles ($10) round out the menu. For dessert, save room for dorayaki ice cream ($6), in which ice cream is sandwiched between two fluffy pancakes. View complete menus for the Midtown and the East Village locations here.
Chom Chom's chefs serve up authentic Korean entrees, sushi rolls, and shareable Korean small plates, or kapas, in a chic, modern restaurant. Nimble fingers stuff homemade dumplings, and a stone bowl of dolsot bibimbap arrives to the table crowned with a fried egg. The 5,000-square-foot eatery rambles over two floors and seats 120 diners, whose optic appetites are sated by walls bedecked with yellow horizontal light fixtures and backlit cross-sections of tofu tree. Signature cocktails flood martini glasses with flavors such as green tea, lychee, and traditional soju as wooden spoons and chopsticks at each place setting lie in wait of post-meal stilt races.
Fat Buddha lures revelers in with regular drink specials and anchors them in place by filling their stomachs with dishes from a mouthwatering, Asian-inspired menu. Amid an intimate bar setting, friends gather around tables to savor a sampling of small plates, including bacon-wrapped shrimp with sweet and sour sauce ($8), flank-steak skewers ($8), and bulgogi korean barbecue with gochujang sauce ($12). Large dishes of pan-seared duck ($12) delight dinner-minded epicureans, and an entrée of black cod with a sweet miso glaze ($12) swirls taste buds in a sharkless sea of flavor. Side dishes, such as pork and shrimp shumai dumplings ($6), spicy kimchi ($3), and chili-pepper fries ($4) join forces to create meals with variety, much like eating directly from a piñata.
Making international cuisine accessible to everyone requires a willingness to adapt recipes without sacrificing distinctive flavors. Kori Tribeca aims to transplant the foods of Seoul to Manhattan, and the New York Times praised its success in creating a menu that is "up-to-date and appealing to Americans but tied to Korean traditions."
Not only do iconic ingredients such as kimchi and Korean-style short ribs populate the menu but the pages also feature authentic cooking techniques. Bibimbap—a mixture of rice, sautéed vegetables, and proteins including pork belly, grilled eel, or organic tofu—arrives at tables in a sizzling stone bowl that continues to cook the dish tableside while diners enjoy the sounds and aromas.
The dining room takes a similar approach, melding small yet prominent aspects of Korean culture into a thoroughly modern setting. A handful of Korean musical instruments and three panels of Eastern Asian artwork adorn the walls. These accents add a distinctive character to the room's otherwise sleek combination of white brick work and black high-backed booth seating.