Just wanted to report that I finally tried Madangsui on 35th Street. It was indeed one of the better BBQs I've had. As I've been under the weather the last few days, I only had one mango the entire day -- was not just very hungry. Thought that some Korean food would be the cure for my cold. So I left work around 8P and made my way there.
It was really packed -- Koreans and nonKoreans. We had to wait for half an hour for a table. Well, as soon as we got seated, we got our food pretty quickly. Service was incredibly friendly and efficient. They were extremely apologetic for the long wait. The hostess was very nice -- perhaps a bit too nice as she couldn't stop with the compliments (I think it's a Korean thing). It just makes me feel a bit uncomfortable.
We ordered the haemul pajun and one order of the plain kalbi and one order of the marinated kalbi. The pajun was good, though it looked nothing like the plastic replica in the front. It was on the smaller side compared to most restaurants. But the two of us could only make a dent in it. I was a bit disappointed when I saw the gas grills as their website says natural wood grilled bbq. Maybe the Fort Lee location has the wood? But the quality of the meat definitely made up for the gas grill. Well marbled and very tasty. We preferred the plain over the marinated which surprised me. I always love a good yang-nyum. Portions were huge as well.
Banchan was very plentiful and good. I think I loved every single one which is strange for me as I always find a couple of duds. From my memory, we had plain kimchee, spinach, dried squid, dried anchovies, pickled daikon radish, spiced pan-fried tofu, Korean salad, salad with "Japanese" ginger dressing, and probably a couple more that I can't remember at this point. They also gave us steamed egg custard and the spicy tofu soup which was a nice touch. You don't always get those types of banchan at Korean restaurants. Something I found strange was that there was no spicy kimchee -- only one nonspicy one. But it was prepared perfectly. Generally not a fan of most Korean restaurant kimchee as they're generally either under or overfermented (with the exception of Gam Mi Ok which I find always perfect). Another odd thing was we didn't get rice. I noticed that other tables didn't get rice either unless you asked. We didn't ask as the rice probably would have filled us up too much. We wanted to make room for the meat. But from all of the Korean restaurants I've been to (excluding noodle joints, etc.) this is the first time we never automatically got rice.
Well, I still have my cold after the wonderful meal. But I feel better psychologically after the wonderful meal. A real great addition to K-town. If you like BBQ, this is the place for you. Now if only they had real wood ...