*Cho Dang Gol at lunchtime*
Whenever I have a hankering for Korean or Chinese food I go straight to my friend Rachel, who I swear could eat dim sum or bibimbap morning, noon or night! So when I realized lunchtime was fast approaching and I was near Rachel’s work, I called her up for a quick lunch. Like I said, this girl loves her Korean food, and even though she had gotten take-out from Cho Dang Gol the day prior…she introduced me to the joint and crazy busy lunchtime in K-Town!
A few streets north of the epi-center of Korea Town, Cho Dang Gol was straight up packed when we got there! We didn’t wait too long but once we sat down I realized how ravenous with hunger I was. With Rachel as my guide (she is the expert here), we shared an order of steamed handmade dumplings filled with meat, veggie and tofu and a large bowl of kimchi tofu stew with pork and egg.
Our order went in and a plethora of panchan (Korean side dishes served with cooked rice) came to our table. These helped us get through the wait for our appetizers and mains and were comprised of dishes I would rarely ever order myself. It was nice to kind of get a blind taste test of something different as I could only decipher a few of the offerings; mackerel, kimchi, zucchini pancakes, some puffed rice dish with tamarind?, sautéed cabbage, and a noodle dish with cucumbers. It didn’t matter that I had no clue what I was eating….because it was really really good.
*best tofu ever*
There’s not many restaurants that make fresh tofu in-house, but Cho Dang Gol does!!!! After our panchan, we were served a small bowl of the house specialty. Now THIS was fresh soybean curd. If you pass by the kitchen you can see them make it and its texture is buttery and silken bearing no trace of the tough sponge-like tofu served at many restaurants. If all tofu tasted like this, I would be eating it every darn day!
*kimchi tofu stew*
The steamed dumplings were good but it was the kimchi tofu stew that really got me hot and bothered! Spooned over rice, it awoke all of my senses as my nose ran and my eyes teared up. But don’t let the floodgates of my crazed senses fool you, this stuff isn’t mind-blowingly spicy, it just revs up your body and fills you up with delight!
Our total bill came to $35 with tip…not bad for how much food we consumed! It also must be stated that the service is questionable. We had to beg for water refills and our server was nowhere to be found on many occasions. But this is a busy place, so you kinda have to go with the flow, besides the food is unbelievable so who cares about a little lack of service here and there!
If you want to get a taste of real traditional Korean food, and not the standard/generic BBQ everyone assumes is what makes up Korean food, then a trip to Cho Dang Gol should be on your list! I for one cannot wait to introduce my vegetarian friends to their tofu! Ready Laney, Emily and Erin?
55 West 35th Street (between 5th and 6th Avenues)