November 13, 2006
I'm happy to report that our search for a great Korean restaurant in this part of Brooklyn is over.
To my knowledge, excluding Williamsburg, there are exactly 3 Korean places in Brooklyn, 5 if you are being really broad in your characterization:
Kim Chee is a solid family run place, but it's in Bay Ridge on the other side of Brooklyn.
9324 3rd Ave 718.567.5741
Noona recently opened on the corner Vanderbilt Avenue and Pacific in Prospect Heights. Noona is an upscale Korean restaurant with small but tasty portions. While the menu looks fully authentic the dishes appear to be geared towards non-Koreans and many of the dishes tasted somehow muted. Jenn deemed the bibimbop good enough and at $10 it would be a perfect lunch if they were open for lunch, but other entrees were a bit too pricey for this restaurant to be on the regular rotation. The restaurant has potential, but they haven't settled into their groove yet.
565 Vanderbilt Avenue 718.398.6662
Henry's Express is a small stand-and-eat hamburger stand on Henry just past Atlantic Avenue. It's Korean run and on Thursday's and Friday's they serve greasy but edible bulgolgi. It's only worth mentioning because it's a stone's throw away.
331 Henry St. 718.222.0708
The Good Fork is an upscale "Korean inspired" diner Red Hook. This is the type of restaurant that makes eating exciting. The food is totally delicious, but it's not exactly authentic Korean comfort food.
718.643.6636 Location: 391 Van Brunt Street
But our search has now ended with the discovery of Sushi Okdol a Japanese/Korean restaurant above a deli in Fort Green run by a Korean family. Sushi Okdol is a dive decorated with pictures of fish torn from magazines, and a sushi clock, but you won't notice the decor once you dive into your meal. Everything from the panchan to the madoo, karbi, to the bibimbop was hit-the-spot delicious and cheap to boot. The menu is small, but all the standard dishes are there. We'll be back and soon.(pdf of the menu)
497 Myrtle Ave. at Hall Street, 718.789.1373
And since I'm on the topic of Korean food I might as well throw in some of our favorite LA Korean Restaurants, each of which I miss:
Tahoe Galbi - Real open fire, meat in the flames, BBQ. So good.
3986 Wilshire Blvd., Los Angeles, CA, (213) 365-9000
Korean Kitchen - I dream about this place. Everything even the vinegar they used in salad dressing was special. Best panchan in LA for my money.
135 Japanese Village Plaza Mall, Los Angeles, CA 90012
Soot Bull Jeep - the quintessential smokey Korean BBQ place.
3136 W 8th St, Los Angeles, CA 90005
There was also super family run restaurant in Glendale way down Glendale Avenue near Eagle Rock, but I can't find it on google.
And btw if you ever find yourself in LA and need eating suggestions, it's almost required that you read Jonathan Gold's Where to Eat in the Real LA. Through the book and his LAWeekly columns Mr. Gold has single handedly been responsible for more of my memorable meals than anyone except for my wife, my mom and my grandmother.
Update: Noona is now apparently open for lunch.