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.
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.
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.
Nestled in the heart of Manhattan's Koreatown and resting in the shadow of the Empire State Building, Hyo Dong Gak dishes out an extensive menu of Chinese delicacies along with beer and soju. Bustling Midtown lunchers stop in to gobble up quick meals of pepper steak or fried rice before heading back to their corner offices, cubicles, and work-from-home blanket forts. Evening patrons can make a tasty dinner of Singapore-style fried noodles and spicy seafood soups. Though the bill of fare presents familiar Chinese-style plates of sweet-and-sour chicken and sautéed string beans, it also features cuisine not often found in fast-food joints, such as crispy whole fried fish, Szechuan-style lobster, and jellyfish.