Thursday after going to Mé Bar for a friend’s “farewell for now” gathering, we were hungry and ready for a change of scenery. While Mé Bar does offer somewhat of a view of the Empire State Building, it is a bit cramped and no matter the rooftop access, you are just on the top floor of a La Quinta. A friend summarized it best in stating “this is the McDonald’s of New York rooftop bars”. Wiser words were never spoken. Their cayenne dusted popcorn was good, but only served to work up our appetites for the main portion.
I’ve been meaning to try Korean BBQ for a long time, and we found ourselves in the midst of Koreatown. Perfect location to rectify that. My friend’s favorite is Kang Suh, so that was our end destination. When we walked in, I saw the seating area was massive – extending far all around and encompassing two full floors. The tables reminded me most of fondue – seating all around the edge of the table with a metal portion in the middle for cooking. This time though instead of a hot plate area in the middle, the center had an actual metal grill.
We of course went with the BBQ. What all it came with, well, that I can’t get into too many details because I don’t quite know. They don’t really tell you. I was only left hoping there was nothing mushroomy to contend with my allergy. We went with three different selections – grilled shrimp, grilled boneless sliced chicken, and the grilled sirloin steak. They brought us a plate of large lettuce leafs to use similar to a tortilla, if you wish, to roll up your selected items from the spread. The accompanying vegetables did include some extremely spicy peppers, freshly sliced onions and garlic, bean sprouts, and seasoned cabbage. Upon request, they’ll also bring you rice – or extra go chu jahng (the spicy bean paste that I couldn’t get enough of!). We also tried soju, a Korean beverage similar to sake. Apparently it was originally made from grain, but is now also made from sweet potatoes. I think I actually liked it better than sake!
At the close of the meal, they brought out a plate of fresh sliced watermelon as a form of a dessert. Juicy and slightly sweet, I have to say it was a welcomed change for a finale on this warm spring day. We each ended up paying approximately $30 for the meal. Not bad for all of the different things we were able to try. I highly recommend Kang Suh (hello, it’s even open 24 hours – a good one to add to the mental roladex) and am looking forward to continuing my exploration of Korean cuisine.
Kangsuh – 1250 Broadway (at West 32nd Street) - 212.564.6845
Reservations not required