Until junior year in high school, Korean food had never really made its way onto my radar. Being a Korean adoptee, my parents were always very open to Korean culture and educating my twin and me when we were growing up. However, my mother’s attempts at getting us to eat Korean food were easily swatted away with quizzical looks and a no mommy, we want McDonalds. It wasn’t until a high school friend began bringing us into Flushing to taste some of the forbidden fruit. Since then, I was hooked. Korean barbecue was sweet and savory and its side dishes were salty, spicy, tart, and nutty. I found my palate shaken by a whole world of new tastes.
During my four years of undergrad at BU, Korean food was a main staple, something I found myself craving during my most stressful times around midterms and finals. One particular restaurant on Comm Ave. knew I’d be in to grab some of their spicy heartwarming jiggae or stew around those periods.
Sunday’s grey and dreary weather practically ran me to Koreana when my hunger pangs set in.
Cold grey Sundays call for Korean BBQ!
Warming up to a hot cup of boricha, a light
nutty tea that I’m convinced tastes like cheerio milk.
Yangnyam dubu, a chilled salty, savory tofu.
Pan fried veggie gyoza with a cherry on top.
A very wide variety of banchan
Kalbi ready to hit the grill
Hell yes samgyupsal is thick cut pork belly bacon!
Samgyupsal sizzling away
Koreana’s food and service have been consistently good even since my long gone college days. They have nice atmosphere, friendly and attentive staff, and some seriously yummy barbecue. I always order the short ribs (kalbi) and the pork belly (samgyupsal). The waitstaff brings out a slew of side dishes which vary in temperature and tastes. They also serve the meats with a nutty salty dipping sauce for the samgyupsal and a very umami sauce for the kalbi. Rice and lettuce accompany the meats, sauces and sides to make quick ssam bap.
What I really appreciate at Koreana is that the waitstaff gives you a helping hand when you grill your meat. You can let them completely take the reigns or just oversee the process to avoid any cooking mishaps. This is good news for anyone who’s never tried Korean BBQ and may be a little intimidated to try (or for anyone prone to burning your BBQ, cough cough me cough).
Complimentary chilled cinnamon tea cleanses your palate at the end of the meal. Then you’re off on your merry way, too full to really focus on anything but the not so distant memory of the awesome food you just consumed.
158 Prospect St
Cambridge, MA 02139