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 almost 25 years, Gammeeok has been treating hungry New Yorkers to authentic Korean dishes. The menu includes classics?like bibimbap?as well as lesser-known gems, like seolleongtang, a white ox-bone broth brimming with brisket and wheat-flour noodles, which The New York Times dubbed one of "two things Korean food lovers can't live without". Other must-trys include abai soondae, a sausage stuffed with pork, sweet potato noodles, and steamed pig's feet, and the platter of briny raw oysters, sliced steam-softened pork belly with radish and white kimchi.
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.
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.
Though the menu boasts the usual T-bone cuts, new york strip steaks, and lamb chops, Prime & Beyond is not your typical American steakhouse. The tangy smell of kimchi weaves through the dining space, and wagyu beef dishes take the form of hot dogs and sausages, completing the fusion of Asian and North American flavors that Korean-American brothers Kyu and Kevin Lee envisioned when they created the eatery. Known as “Q the butcher,” Kyu takes great pride in his meats, aging them carefully to bring out their full flavor; his wet-aged steaks sit for at least 20 days as 8-ounce filet mignon and 14-ounce ribeye cuts, and his dry-aged meats rest for a minimum of 50 days within the restaurant’s refrigeration unit atop a memory-foam mattress before being shaken awake and cooked.
At the center of the platters of miso-soaked steak, intricately marbled Kobe-style short ribs, garlic shrimp, and fresh veggies that crowd any given table at Gyu-Kaku sits a yakiniku grill, ready to bring all these flavors to life. At more than 700 locations worldwide, parties choose from a cornucopia of ingredients, tell their servers how they'd like them marinated—in sauces ranging from the strictly traditional to basil pesto—then begin searing their feast over the smokeless gas grill. New York magazine admired how "dominoes of harami skirt steak, marinated in sweet dark miso, turn caramelized and succulent on the hot grill." If protein overload looms, there are stone bowls of bibimbap and ramen to add balance. Patrons can wash down their meals with super-premium daiginjo sakes, sweet Japanese plum wines, and Asahi Super Dry beer, known to enhance its imbibers' deadpan witticisms.