I had dinner at the renovated Kang Suh with a large group last night, and it was for the most part excellent. I was particularly eager to try the pajun after the discussion a while back on whether or not there was an epidemic of substituting reheated for fresh. We got two kinds, kimchi and regular, and I'm happy to report that both were obviously made to order. The kimchi pancake was awesome - crispy and very spicy. Sadly, all of the freshness in the world couldn't redeem the plain veg/scallion variety. It was a leaden, greasy, bland travesty. This is the only time that KS's plain pajun has disappointed so, and to taste it alongside its near-perfect counterpart made its grossness even more pronounced and puzzling. We also had a few orders of jap jae and kim bob to start, which were as good as ever.
Lots of succulent and flavorful kalbi and bulgogi followed, along with a several bi bim baps (can that be made plural?). One of the big shockers of the evening was the panchan. Just as the physical space has been spiffed up, so has the quality of panchan skyrocketed from inedible to quite acceptable. We got some terrific spicy cuttlefish, marinated spinach, pickled daikon, egg-battered fish, and shredded scallions. The standard kimchi still sucks, though - some things have to remain the same!