Walking into Arang on a drizzly night, I felt instantly transported.

First, the second floor location in the heart of Koreatown lifted me out of busy Manhattan and into a quiet and calm venue where I could catch my breath from the hustle and bustle of 32nd Street. After assessing the crowd and realizing that the majority of the patrons are actually speaking Korean, I could almost swear I'd traveled to another country. It's then I knew I was in for a treat.

Arang is run by mother-daughter team Su Song and Sunny Lim. They are committed to serving Korean comfort food in a relaxed and authentic environment. Sunny greeted me with a friendly smile and explained that most menu items are meant to be served family style.

I started with some traditional Korean mouth-waterers, as they called them. Kimchee, sprouts, pickled cucumbers and some cabbage. Having never tried kimchee before, I was pleasantly surprised by the amount of flavor that could be packed into one bite.

[The "mouth-waterers"]

Next up I was served a still boiling bowl of Dookbaegi Bulgogi, a soup made with meat that had been marinated for hours beforehand. Again, the flavor was amazing and the meat was super tender.

[Dookbaegi Bulgogi]

The fundamentals of Korean unfiltered rice wine, similar to sake, but with a more milky texture. It was sweet but definitely not too much and accompanied some of the spicier dishes we tried nicely. My favorite part was the fact that it was served in a bowl.

[Rice wine]

Next up was the Haemul Pajun, or a seafood scallion pancake. I loved the texture of the veggies mixed with the shrimp, and the dipping sauce completed the picture.

[Haemul Pajun]

One of Arang's signature dishes, the Kimchee Jaeyook Ddukboki, was definitely one of my favorites. Sauteed spicy rice cakes are mixed with fermented cabbage and spicy pork and topped with lots and lots of cheese. It's a very comforting dish, good for a cold night, and the cheese balances the great spices.

[Kimchee Jaeyook Ddukboki]

The last menu item we sampled was the Bul Dak, or Spicy Fire Chicken. I must admit that I was scared when I hear the name as I don't usually eat things with the word "fire" in the title. Maybe the kitchen dumbed down the spice level for us a bit (or a lot), or something, but it wasn't nearly as spicy as I imagined and it actually had a lot of great flavor.

[Bul Dak]

Dinner at Arang was a great culinary experience and I would recommend it for anyone looking for an escape from the craziness of the city. Buon Appetito, or in Korean, mas-issge deuseyo!

On Tuesdays from 4-8 p.m. all alcoholic beverages are buy one get one free
Sunday-Thursday from 4-8 p.m. all sushi is $1.

9 W 32nd St # 200 New York, NY 10001-3810
212 947-3028
Open Mon-Wed,Sun 4pm-4am;
Thu 4pm-6am; also open Fri


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