posted on June 8, 2009 at 8:40 am
When it comes to Korean Barbecue, I’ve always been partial to the charcoal variety. But Myung Ga Won may have changed my mind. The first thing I love about this restaurant–aside from it being open 24 hours a day–is the spiffy decor, which is above average versus other Korean eateries.
Stairway leading to the second level
The dining room
The second thing I like about this place is that they use Certified Angus Beef and serve it many different ways.
Now, you’ll have to forgive me for not using the Korean words for the dishes, but I’ve lost all the menus I’ve pocketed on my visits. You will still be able to order with ease, though. The menu is in both English and Korean and the helpful staff speaks excellent English. On to the food…
The restaurant serves a nice assortment of banchan, but sometimes has other items in the back. Ask your waitress if you are craving something in particular, because they most likely have it.
A close-up on some crunchy, chilled squid
On this particular visit, we ordered the brisket (those little rolled up pieces of beef), the marinated short rib and a huge hotpot of mushrooms and sliced ribeye cooked in a spicy sauce.
Our friendly waitress preparing to cook the beef
A little more brisket porn
You may have seen the above cut of brisket at other restaurants like Hanil Kwan, which lists it as “bread skin.” The thing I love about this cut is that it gets buttery as the fat melts. Don’t let the waitress leave it on too long as it tends to dry out. No lettuce required–a swipe of sauce is all you need.
Thinly sliced brisket getting buttery
The marinated short rib was the dish that really changed my mind about gas grilling. The marinade was deep, slightly sweet and super complex. And the beef was oh-my-god fatty and delicious. I went back yesterday for that beef alone.
The marinated short ribs on the grill
You’ll find a list of hot-pots meant for sharing on the second to last page of the menu. I’ve had a couple now, but the ribeye and mushroom cooked in a super spicy chili-laden sauce is my favorite. The waitress adds everything to the shallow pot, which sits on a burner next to your table and lets it cook until the stew has reduced and everything–a mess of mushrooms, shiso leaf, zucchini, beef, onions and much more–has cooked through.
Everything get snipped up with scissors to make each bite manageable. And then the waitress adds a bowl of fat and chewy white noodles.
You’re served the stew in these shallow little bowls, which can be a pain to eat out of. But who cares when the food is this tasty. Let’s just say the phrase “oh my god, this is so f-ing good” was said more than once.
Verdict: I adore this restaurant. The quality of the meat, modern decor and selection of dishes is more than enough to get me to return again and again. And I love that they are open 24 hours a day. They only disappointment was the tofu stew as it was watery and lacked intensity. However, everything else warrants a visit. Just a tip: The restaurant is kind of hidden so make sure you Google directions.
Address: 1960 Day Drive, Suite 100. Duluth, GA 30096