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.
Green Symphony's chefs cull zesty ingredients to craft body-nourishing platters and Korean cuisine. Appetites arise from slumber with breakfast offerings such as organic oatmeal splashed with açai fruit purée. Sandwich sages construct breadstacks from South Asian–inspired tempeh, then top their creations with the finest blue, feta, or brie cheese found beyond Mickey Mouse's pantry. A hefty dessert menu gilds sweet teeth with pear-ginger bars and homemade muffins, and bodies find a healthy boost with juice blends including the Cleanser, in which cranberries, carrots, and beets canoodle with barley greens and aloe juice.
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.
The chefs at Makiman Sushi believe in keeping their gills and their grills separate, serving both raw-fish fusion sushi and Korean stone-pot bi bim bop. Like the Warren G. Harding White House during Prohibition, the eatery is BYOB and patrons pour their favorite beverages while delving into orders of tuna nachos, a dish of fried wontons topped with raw tuna and a spicy sauce. Guests can kick back at a table or perch at a recently remodeled sushi bar to admire the sushi chefs' handiwork.
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.
The Pho Zone invites diners to submerge chopsticks in piping-hot noodle soups and Vietnamese specialty rice dishes as they bask in the natural light of a floor-to-ceiling front window. Diners can wash down banh mi sandwiches or steamed pork dumplings with a shake infused with tropical staples such as mango, avocado, or the sweet pulp extracted from the center of a ukulele.