Every week, I document another dish that impressed and satiated me during my food adventures around New York City

KANG HO DONG BAEKJEONG, 1 East 32nd Street (between Fifth and Madison Avenue), KoreatownThere are people out there who love a good steak but have never experienced Korean barbecue. If that’s the case, it’s time you stop what you’re doing (well, finish reading this first) and head over to a restaurant that specializes in Korean grilled beef. A good place to start would be the overly popular and excellent Kang Ho Dong Baekjeong.

The grill-it-yourself behemoth expanded to New York from Los Angelese last year and the lines for a table continue to stretch every night. The key to skipping the wait is to come at lunch or for an early dinner. We managed to be here before 5:30 and only had to wait 15 minutes. Although as we left, completely stuffed from beef, we saw the queue down the block.

Korean beef palaces like this are not cheap, but you can rest assured you are getting quality cuts of beef (or pork). Normally, we stick to the galbi (short ribs), but this trip was a special occasion and so we ordered a beef combo.

Beef Combo at KANG HO DONG BAEKJEONG

For the uninitiated, the beautiful marbled meat arrives raw. We had red slices of brisket, a thick ribeye steak, and marinated short ribs.

The servers will come around and cook the meat on the grill right in front of you. It’s a somewhat interactive experience and there is no delay from the time the meat gets off the grill and it ends up on your plate. Never fear that your dinner might get cold.

Seasoned Short Rib at KANG HO DONG BAEKJEONG

Of the three cuts, there was no question which was our favorite. The short ribs were saved for the last tasting. While we were devouring the thin crisp brisket slices and the rich mineraly rib eye, the short ribs sat in a slick glaze of sesame oil and honey. Korean BBQ at KANG HO DONG BAEKJEONG

When the servers came around to set it to the fire, they cooked a little bit, dunked it back in the sweet glaze, and then cooked it some more. The meat caramelized to the point of being dark and sugary which was a sweet entryway to the meatiness of the beef.

If my words and my photos haven’t convinced you to try the succulent beef of Korean BBQ, then either I need to re-examine my writing skills or you must be a vegetarian. Price: $39.99

KANG HO DONG BAEKJEONG
11 East 32nd Street (between Fifth and Madison Avenue),
Koreatown
(212) 966-9839
baekjeongnyc.com
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About the Author

Brian Hoffman is a classically trained actor who is now a full-time tour guide, blogger, and food obsessive. He leads food and drink tours around New York City, which not only introduce tour-goers to delicious food, but gives them a historical context. He also writes food articles for Gothamist and Midtown Lunch in addition to overseeing this blog and a few food video series, including Eat This, Locals Know, and Around the World in One City.

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