Lau had a good feeling about Jong Ga as soon as the banchan hit the table. Tender octopus in gochujang (chile bean paste) and raw crab marinated in chile sauce stood out in a huge spread of fresh side dishes at this newish Korean restaurant on Flushing's Northern Boulevard strip.
Main dishes didn't disappoint. A gu jjim, a monkfish stew that few New York restaurants do well, was terrific: tender chunks of fish in spicy, well-balanced sauce with bean sprouts and scallions. It comes in a big pot and feeds four or five. Charcoal-grilled kalbi (beef short rib) was among the best Lau's had in the city. And a side of kimchee pajun (pancake) was on target, flavorful and crisp.
Aside from skippable naeng myun (buckwheat noodles), Lau says, Jong Ga is a hound-worthy destination for home-style cooking. "Way better than most other Korean restaurants in NY," he promises.
Jong Ga [Flushing]
194-03 Northern Boulevard (at 194th Street), Flushing, Queens