Best Korean - 2009
NY Hot Dog and Coffee; Han Ah Reum Mart - CLOSED
RobtS: The biggest news on the Korean food scene continues to be the franchise restaurants, most originating in Seoul, that have set down here. A drive down Northern Boulevard reveals nearly a dozen fried-chicken franchises. Even more curious is the hot dog chain, NY Hot Dog and Coffee—which is like carrying coals to Newcastle. SarahDG: Like, why bring hot dogs to New York? RobtS: Yeah, we've had franks around here forever. In fact, the frank as we know it was invented in Coney Island. SarahDG: So bringing dogs from Korea sounds ridiculous! RobtS: Yeah, I was annoyed, but gradually became interested. Now, I crave their hot dog heaped with bulgogi and kimchee, which add a good, spicy kick. Nice dining room in back, too. SarahDG: While we're on this topic, let's pour a little out for Persimmon, the quietly ambitious neo-Korean spot that closed recently. RobtS: Sniff! SarahDG: In the past 12 months, I've enjoyed Seoul Station's Korean tacos in the East Village, the charcoal-grilled short ribs at Ga Si Ri, and the soon dubu at Book Chang Dong, the last two in Flushing. RobtS: Haven't had any of those. SarahDG: But since everyone was a little bit poorer this year, maybe we should talk about the conveniently located and affordable Korean eats at Han Ah Reum Mart in Koreatown. You can procure almost any banchan—from dried skate wing to lotus root to blue crab in chile sauce. RobtS: Sounds good, 'cept I prefer to spell them "pan chan." SarahDG: Please yourself! They also have ready-to-grill bulgogi just as good as any found in barbecue restaurants, at a fraction of the price. RobtS: But you don't get to sit around the tiny grill and have grease spatter in your face. SarahDG: All you have to do to get that is buy a hot plate and put it in the center of your table, then bend toward it!