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The other night four of us went to Kang Ho Dong in K-Town following a sports event at MSG. We arrived near 11 pm and the restaurant was packed, we had to wait about ten minutes for a table. On weekends the restaurant is open till 6 a.m. We had a great meal and likely Kang Ho Dons is a contender for best bbq in K-Town.
The restaurant is part of a mini-chain out of Seoul, founded by a Korean comedian, I believe. The staff at the new NYC venue were all young, seemed to be mostly male, were on the ball, funny and quick. All wear cute black T-shirts emblazoned with the restaurant's name and slogan.
It seems there is indeed a generational change between some of the newer K-Town spots and those long known, visited and talked about on this Board. We have our "traditional" spots we go to, including a well known bbq spot on 35th street, but some of those have been declining in quality of late, at least that is our view. A couple of not up to par meals.
Kang Ho Dong specializes in bbq and that is the focus of the menu. There are not many other options, certainly less than in most other spots in K-town. No bimbimbap, no steamed mandoo (fried only), no japchae (although it appears on the menu that hasn't been "rolled out" yet), not many stews and such. The ban chan offered are very limited, perhaps three, though all are good. Excellent kimchi, a tofu dish and a squash option. But, the meat is the focus.
We had the meat combo and it was excellent. Marbled beef, three selections, good amount. Cheesy corn is spread around the corners of the grill and that was delicious. The grill and exhaust is very efficient. No baskets of lettuce on offer, here they offer torn romaine lettuce, with a light dressing. Not really useful to roll up the meat, though the marinated radish on offer does that well. Great shredded scallion mixture to add. Their gochujang is excellent, chunkier than others. We also thought their seafood pancake was excellent. Chock full of seafood, fatter than the traditional one you get, crisper and less oily. Could make a meal out of that. The fried mandoo we liked, but not as good as some other spots. Rather than a bimbimbap they offer something called a "lunchbox" which is rice with some toppings and a fried egg. It was good but, I still prefer a bimbimbap. They have a very good selection of mixed drinks and those were selling well. The crowd was young, everyone seemed certainly to be having a good time and enjoying their food. In short, the spot should certainly be considered a contender for best bbq, though if you are new to Korean food, it probably should not be your first destination, it is missing some other dishes you may be in search of. We will be back. A short blurb on the place from Eater is below.