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Best Korean Restaurant

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Home cooking hardly gets homier than owner and chef Gap Soon Cho’s southwestern Korean fare at Myung San, an unassuming Flushing joint that’s been in business for over a decade. Cho runs the restaurant with her two children and grows much of the menu’s produce herself. Her array of vegetables in a ssambap spread is the stuff of botanists’ wet dreams, but the restaurant is perhaps most admired and admonished for serving cheonggukjang, a malodorous fermented soybean mash that’s used to make a pungent brew of the same name, affectionately dubbed “dead body stew” thanks to its smell. There’s a pervasive nuttiness that’s cut by a sharp, almost cheese-like saltiness, its tempestuous flavors settling into a low hum of rotten musk. The Chos also serve two kinds of makgeolli, a cloudy white fermented-rice beverage — including one that’s produced locally at a farm in the Catskills.

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