Sunday, February 1, 2009

Priya's birthday dinner #2: Kum Gang San

For dinner with friends on Priya's birthday, we braved the snow and piled into Katie's van and for a drive out to the Korean part of Flushing for Korean BBQ at Kum Gang San. Amazingly, KGS is open 24 hours--no idea who is eating Korean BBQ at 7:30am on a Wednesday, but I guess someone is. I'd heard it had charcoal rather than gas grills, but that turned out not to be true--no big deal.

We started the meal off with complimentary bowls of soy milk into which we could mix either strawberry jam or soy sauce--I had mine with soy sauce, and it was delicious. Then the banchan (side dishes) began to arrive, and there is no way I could log or describe what each was because there were so many. We were content to just dig in--even when we had no idea what something was! At one point, Katie and Priya were tasting the same dish of unidentifiable strips of something slathered in red chili sauce. Katie thought it was veggies and Priya thought it was squid, and it turned out that it was both and they had just tasted different pieces. Between the seven of us, we ordered kimchee pa jun (kimchee pancakes), bi bim bap, chap chae (vermicelli noodles with beef), three kinds of BBQ meat (bulgoki, prime kalbi, and spicy pork), and duk gook, a soup picked by Lena, which featured those fat rice noodle/cake things that have always been my favorite Korean food.

Every time I've been to one of these sorts of restaurants, I've had to manage the grill myself, so it was nice that the waitress was all over this one. Maybe that helped make it so that the meal was excellent all round: good amount of food, good timing (after some ordering misfires in the beginning), good taste--and good people!

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