There are a few great Korean barbecue spots in the city that grill over flavorful charcoal rather than gas. (Like this one.) But if you want to have a smoky barbecue feast for a fraction of the cost, head to Han Ah Reum supermarket in Koreatown, where pre-marinated meats like pork bulgogi and thinly sliced rib-eye bulgogi go for $3.99-$4.99 a pound. Since you’re saving all that money on the meat (plates of comparable meats in a restaurant would go for $18-$20), grab a few banchan from the refrigerated case (Fork in the Road likes the pickled yellow radish and the dried, sugared squid.) Get a container of ssamjang, the spicy sauce often dolloped on barbecue, and a head of lettuce.
Go home and either light your grill or heat up a cast iron pan. If you’re using the grill, place the big bits of meat directly on the grate, and use a sheet of aluminum foil with holes poked in it to grill the small bits and the chopped scallions. Wrap the seared meat in a leaf of lettuce along with some ssamjang, and eat the banchan on the side–an easy feast for just a few dollars per person.
25 West 32nd Street
This article from the Village Voice Archive was posted on August 5, 2009