With more than two decades of experience peddling authentic Korean cuisine, the culinary whizzes at Gam Mee Ok ladle out a cornucopia of tempting appetizers, traditional beef entrees, and exotic liquors squeezed from rice. An appetizer of freshly steamed dumplings or flaky seafood pancakes commences duos' chew-a-thons and are intended to be split between two people, much like the responsibility of rearing a perforated child, before guests receive two shareable entrees. Grilled beef short ribs come backed by special soy sauce in the wang galbi, and the japchae showcases sautéed beef tossed with glass or sweet-potato noodles and soaked in soy cream. Bibimbap, a mix of shredded beef and vegetables over rice, comes in a sizzling stone bowl (dolsot bibimbap) or au natural. As they dine, twosomes can sip on exotic spirits such as bottles of Korean rice wine, sake, vodka-like soju, or liquefied poltergeists.
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.
Sushi Maru’s chefs prepare a menu of maki rolls and traditional Korean hotpots in an eatery reminiscent of a Tokyo sushi bar. Delicate porcelain figurines enliven the BYOB restaurant, which otherwise dons a decidedly romantic vibe by combining dark wood accents, glowing paper lanterns, and a friendly staff well-versed in the entire Tom Jones catalog. Table and sushi-bar seating both offer comfortable perches from which to enjoy more than two dozen regular and specialty rolls, with choices that range from traditional california and spicy-tuna options to contemporary updates such as a caribbean roll topped with baked lobster salad.
Though BC Chicken—formerly Bonchon Chicken—may have changed its name, its menu still centers on poultry. Here, diners get their fix with crispy fried wings or drumsticks dressed in soy-garlic sauce. The Asian-inspired marinade hints at dishes included in the expanded menu, which features pot stickers stuffed with chicken or hot shrimp. Beef makes an appearance in the form of Korean-style bulgogi, which is the basis for the cheeseburger buried under kimchi coleslaw and the beef tacos with soy sauce and onions. Set to the backdrop of the bar’s 70-inch projection screen, meals are complemented by helpings of fried Oreos.
Lauded by the New York Times for a "vision [that] stretches far beyond Asia," Neo World Bistro and Sushi Bar forges new cuisine out of Eastern and Western influences. Indonesian-born head chef Sianto Njotoatmodjo borrows liberally from Italian, French, and Indian culinary traditions, turning out new takes on classics including seafood risotto, chicken in teriyaki beurre blanc, and spicy tuna with avocado and mango in paratha-style bread. Decked out in shades of light green and chocolate brown, the sleek dining room lies adjacent to the sushi bar where specialty rolls are named for positive and inspiring feelings such as "hope," "humble," and "hey, this is tasty sushi."