Ethnic.City: Iron Age

posted on May 19, 2010 at 9:40 am


“Boy bands are really big in Korea right now,” says our friend who recently returned from Seoul. He points to the massive screen playing Korean music videos in the center of Iron Age (2131 Pleasant Hill Road, Duluth, 678-334-5242). An endless stream of R&B singers, rappers, boy bands and girl bands glam it up on the big screen. Many of the customers huddled around the barbecue tables are as young as the performers. Judging by their haircuts and styling, they’re gleaning some of their swagger from the stars belting out the melodies that set the energetic – and addictive – vibe at this new Korean restaurant.

The design takes many cues from the military. A large abstract propeller sculpture hangs over the dining room and the servers wear chic button-up shirts with Korean flag patches. Beverages – such as the chilled green plastic bottles of Draft Makkoli (a slightly fizzy and citrusy rice beer) – are served in large steel cups that look as if they were plucked straight from a soldier’s pack. The name and metallic theme comes from the restaurant owner’s own tour of duty in the culinary world. His other restaurant, Kimchi House, taught him a costly lesson in kitchenware. Breakables break … a lot. As a solution, his new restaurant uses metals – like iron – to save money. Iron also serves as the centerpiece of the dining experience, as most of the cooking is done on a grooved and tilted cast iron griddle.

Iron Age’s main draw is the all-you-can-eat barbecue – $14.99 buys you an unlimited supply of pork belly, sliced brisket and bibimbap.

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