A paneled ceiling design, stained glass, and simple wooden furniture inform the welcoming decor at the Korean Hanbat Restaurant. With an extensive menu of traditional dishes, the Zagat-rated and 2013 Michelin-recommended restaurant's Korean roots run deeper than a wide receiver whose brakes are broken. Its kitchen staff whips up plates of pajun, a scallion pancake with seafood, or bi bim kook soo, Korean-style noodles with beef and vegetables including strips of carrots, peppers, onion, and large chunks of broccoli.
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.
"It's a game of chicken wing roulette," remarks Simon Chin on the Gentlemen Know Style blog. He's talking about Debasaki's gyoza wings, which forgo bones for the kind of stuffing you'd find in the traditional Asian dumpling. The chefs fill the meaty morsels with corn, shrimp, hot peppers, or a blend of veggies—order the combination platter, and you'll know exactly what Chin was talking about. Korean fried chicken, both stuffed and otherwise, is the highlight here: aromatic plates of wings that Serious Eats calls "blissfully meaty" with a "spicy gloss [that] is enough to snap you to attention, but not enough to overwhelm the interior." But there's also plenty for the adventurous: kimchi fried rice comes adorned with an over-easy egg to temper its blazing spice, and the seafood oden soup brims with a medley of mussels, fishcakes, crab, and dumplings. As diners cleanse their palates with spoonfuls of green tea ice cream, a ritzy cosmopolitan décor complements feasts with playful, jellyfish-like light fixtures and geometric furniture.
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.
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.