With more than two decades of experience peddling authentic Korean cuisine, the culinary whizzes at Gammeeok ladle out a cornucopia of tempting appetizers and traditional beef entrees. Shared starters of freshly steamed dumplings and flaky seafood pancakes commence duos' chew-a-thons and competitions in napkin folding. Grilled beef short ribs arrive to tables backed by special soy sauce, and twosomes can accompany their meal with BYOB drinks and liquefied poltergeists. On Tuesday and Friday nights, live jazz seasons the air as moonlight streams in through Gammeeok's vast floor-to-ceiling windows.
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.
UFC’s lightly fried, thoroughly crispy, delicately sauced Korean-style fried chicken has been both praised and profiled by the New York Times and New York Magazine. Fresh cuts of meat fry in oil free of trans fat and cholesterol, pulling out the fat in the skin and leaving each piece without the build-up of grease that makes American fried chicken so difficult to properly throw. The resulting crunchy exterior gets doused in a coat of one of four sauces, including traditional Korean soy garlic or tangy American barbecue mustard.
Korean Express’s ensemble of chefs sears traditional eats on hot stones, filling the shop with a piquant bouquet of steam. In the bustling kitchen, fingers fly as they prepare a variety of time-honored dishes such as hot-stone bibimbap and savory seaweed rice rolls that only respond to questions when addressed by their Korean name, kimbap. Proof of the kitchen’s dedication to the region's culinary traditions is evident in the use of established ingredients including sweet-potato noodles, kimchi, and handmade boiled dumplings that don't require a chopsticks-to-fork converter.
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.
Bon Chon Midtown's enticing menu of Asian fusion fare entertains taste buds with a tantalizing spread of fresh local veggies, juicy cuts of chicken and short rib, fresh seafood, and eclectic cocktails. The restaurant's signature Korean-style fried chicken dances across palates with the wholesome flavor of vegetarian-fed poultry free from hormones, antibiotics, or opinions about whether the egg preceded it. As guests sip specialty soju cocktails or frosty draft beers, they can admire Bon Chon Midtown's ultramodern décor, which showcases onyx-black tabletops and pristine white furnishings.