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.
Kang Suh specializes in authentic Korean cuisine, and takes care to create a welcoming atmosphere surrounding every aspect of the dining experience inside. The main dining room is brightly lit and simply decorated, with firm red chairs, a charcoal gray color scheme and square dividers similar to the natural wall panels found in Korean Hanok architecture. Food is served up in a traditional Korean style, presented in clean white bowls to emphasize the colorful ingredients. Hot items, like cha dol bae gi, a thin, non-marinated beef brisket, are cooked in front of you on a circular Korean barbecue, but with over six pages of dishes to choose from, diners could spend many meals at Kang Suh without every trying the same thing twice. Order up an array of kimchi, seafood pancakes, noodle soups and more, all of which can be shared amongst family and friends in the traditional Korean style.
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.
Kristalbelli doesn’t tamper with Korean cuisine’s iconic flavors, but the eatery does adopt a modern approach to preparation and presentation. K-pop singer and restaurateur Park Jin Young personally designed the convex crystal grills that adorn every tabletop. These bowl-like fixtures sear orders of wagyu rib eye, galbi, and marinated chicken thighs by emitting infrared rays, which evenly cook the meats with far greater speed than traditional metal grills. Specialized downdraft systems then vacuum away the resulting smoke, keeping diners comfortable amid a roomful of sputtering grills. Although the modern grills reside in the dining area, they complement Chef David Shim’s cooking style in the kitchen. He aims to make Korean cuisine accessible and global without altering the distinctive flavors. The bibimbap exemplifies Kristalbelli’s contemporary influences as it arrives to tables in a crystal bowl. The presentation is an accent instead of a gimmick, and the New York Times lauded the dish as “spectacularly precise” with “perfectly cooked rice and vegetables.” The rest of the menu features staples such as kimchi stew and seafood pancakes with scallions, and the cocktail selection also draws inspiration from the Pacific Rim by incorporating plum wine and Korean soju into certain drinks. In contrast to the menu’s bold and varied flavors, the dining room aims to create a simpler, more restrained ambiance. Dangling pendant lamps illuminate the dark tile flooring and the marble tables that line the white brick walls. A glass-encased wine cellar dominates one side of the room, allowing diners to see the floor-to-ceiling racks filled with bottles from as far away as the vineyards of New Zealand and the underground wine reservoirs of the California Raisins' estate.