I love Korean food. Even though I was just in Korea Town 2 weeks ago, when my best friend (who is Korean) asked where I wanted to go to break the fast (for Yom Kippur) I decided to go again. She brought me some place new, KumGangSan (32nd St. between 5th Ave and Broadway) that had a piano on a ledge above a waterfall. Odd but cool. Turns out it’s her grandparent’s favorite place in KTown. It soon became mine.
The silver chop sticks were a nice touch (though they were hollow, which made the weight a little strange).
As per usual in Korean restaurants, the food started coming out immediately. This was especially good since I’d been fasting all day and was RAVENOUS. They first brought out a salad which had a citrus-like dressing that I really enjoyed.
The soft tofu was pretty new for me. The waiters were GREAT, however, about my allergy (I guess it’s helpful that they’re told in Korean exactly what it is I’m allergic to… THANKS ESTHER!) My tofu came out perfectly with no red sauce. Even though it was mushy and I usually don’t like tofu, I thought this was great.
Then the little bowls began to arrive. It still fascinates me how many little bowls of food can be on one table. I can’t eat most of them, but the ones I did eat I really enjoyed.
The first thing we actually ordered arrived quickly. It was a Seafood Pajun, which is a rice flour pancake with seafood and scallions. While I’ve always liked this, it’s usually quite greasy. This one wasn’t at all and the seafood had great flavor.
Next came Esther’s dish. I have no idea what it was and I couldn’t even touch it… just look at that color! Beautiful but deadly. It did have seafood in it and Korean Rice Noodles (which remind me of pool noodles.)
My craving finally arrived. Dol Sot Bibim Bap. “Dol Sot” as I learned last time, means hot stone bowl… and this is the key. The crispy rice was FANTASTIC all crisped to the side of the bowl. The veggies were also especially tasty and they had a nice assortment. While I asked for pork (since I don’t love chopped beef, which is how the beef usually comes), they actually served it with beef but it was in strips and tasted more like bulgogi. I especially enjoyed this mistake.
We ended with a creamy chopped ice fruity dessert that came free and was sensational. I was too busy eating it to snap a picture. It was also topped with 3 fruit loops. I forgot how delicious those little suckers are.
I’ve been to Korea Town on multiple occassions and tried at least half a dozen places. Kum Gang San, however, definitely won. While we didn’t try the BBQ, everything was fresher, more interesting, and better than the other places. Though still no where near Esther’s home cooking. It actually made me regret giving Shilla a 7 since it leaves little room for improvement, however, I’ll give it the 8 it most probably deserves.
Total Nom Points: 8 out of 10