Eastside Korean Roundup

Seattle Magazine ran an article this month on great Korean restaurants around Seattle. Iris and I have tried a number of the restaurants on the list, with BCD and Hosoonyi being our favorites of the ones that we’d tried. They seem to have completely ignored the east side though. There are at least two great Korean places in the neighborhood, and a few more in the area that probably deserve an honorable mention:

  1. Stone Korean Restaurant (www, yelp): Don’t judge them by their website. Their claim to fame is the stone bowl rice, which has a nice crispy layer where it’s up against the bowl. They have great soon doo boo (spicy tofu soup), grilled meats. and seafood pancake. My personal favorite is the dae ji bulgogi, spicy pork. Service is good, and like any great Korean place, they provide all the little appetizer dishes of kimchi, pickled veggies, mashed potatoes, sprouts, etc. This has become our main go-to Korean restaurant.
  2. Seoul Hot Pot (www, yelp): Since we moved to Redmond, we haven’t been going to this Overlake place nearly as often. Word on the street is that it was started by one of the chef’s from Hosoonyi. It’s easy to believe, since the menu and preparation are very similar in many ways. This was the restaurant that ended our long trips up to Edmonds for Korean. The place isn’t big on décor, but the food makes up for it and service is usually good. While doing some homework for this piece, I also tripped over their sister restaurant in shoreline, Old Village Korean Charcoal Barbeque, which is going on my list of places to try.
  3. Honorable Mention: Palace Korean (www, yelp): Palace has a wide menu and a grill-it-yourself option. The last time we were there, they also had a rotating all-you-can-eat deal going. While it doesn’t stand up to Stone or SHP, the food is good, and they have some non-Korean options on the menu as well. They also have some very large booths that work well for bigger parties. Service can be hit or miss. After 3-4 visits we’ve mostly pulled this out of our rotation, but it’s a competent option if you’re in the neighborhood.
  4. Honorable Mention: Blue Ginger Korean & Sushi (www, yelp): We’re always a little skeptical of food mash-ups, and in our few experiences with them, Blue Ginger has demonstrated why this doesn’t work. The sushi and Korean food are both competent, and they have a broad menu, but neither option stood up to their single-purpose counterparts in the same price brackets.

One thing I will say is that I’ve almost never been happy with the grill-it-yourself setups. If it’s available, we usually decline. The pros in back (should) always do a better job, and you usually end up paying more to grill at your table anyway. It’s a fun novelty, but it wears off quick.

What else did I miss? I’m sure there are other great Korean options on the Eastside.