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Restaurants & Bars 13

best Korean

budgethound | Jul 12, 2009 04:15 PM

My favorite is Korean Grill (Chinatown Center on N Lamar),
a tiny mom & pop restaurant with some big strengths--
jamppong (spicy seafood noodle soup)--had shrimp, squid, mussels, and vegetables;
noodles so tender yet chewy I asked if they were homemade (they're not)
dol sot bibimbap--served in hot stone bowl so it browns the rice at the bottom
mixed tempura--wonderfully light and crispy batter
banchan (side dishes)--excellent, not an afterthought like at many places;
at lunchtime you get more common ones (kimchi, mung bean sprouts, spicy pickles,...)
more are offered at dinnertime (seaweed, tofu, sweet pickles, vegetable omelette,
small dried anchovies, various greens, onions, mushrooms, depending on the day)
The bento box lunches are good deals.
The place is casual and nicely decorated.

Of course, every place has weaknesses--
Seafood pancake, bulgogi, japchae (too oily) and whole mackerel were not impressive.
Service is good, warm, and friendly when the owners are there, hit-or-miss otherwise.
Over all, dining here is an enjoyable experience.

Here are the contenders (roughly from north to south):

Together (N Lamar)
Korea House (in the Village on Anderson Ln)--japchae was good
Misung 888 (Anderson Ln @ Lamar)--haven't tried, but Nab has

New Oriental Market (Airport @ Lamar)--big bowls of noodles for about $5 each
Manna Korean Restaurant (Han Yang Market on Lamar)--eh; few self-serve banchan
Somunanjib (Han Yang Market on Lamar)
Chosun Galbi (near Highland Mall)--warm, wonderful service, beautiful place; fairly pricey
Shilla (in Lincoln Village, near Highland Mall)
Korea Garden (Lamar)

Burger Tex (on Airport)--tasty bulgogi "burger"
Oma's (Dobie Mall)--bibimbab was ok
Koriente--more "cleaned up"/fusion; cute, clean; not bad for a quick bite if you're downtown

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