Korean Food USA is a new series that showcases Korean and Korean-inspired eateries all around the nation.
Kalguksu is a popular traditional Korean noodle dish that consists of vegetables, a choice of meat or seafood, and hand-cut knife noodles all combined in a hot flavorful broth. It is a delightful Korean specialty, and no one does it better than Arirang in Manhattan. This restaurant is a bit hard to find since it’s on the third floor of one of Manhattan’s busiest streets, K-town, but their inconvenient location does not keep the place from getting packed. The walls of the old-fashioned restaurant have drawings of children playing traditional games, and the tables and flooring are both made of wood. Their interior gives customers a very warm and homey environment that makes them feel as if they are sharing a meal with loved ones at home.
Two of Arirang’s most famous Kalguksus are their Kimchi Seafood Kalguksu which has kimchi, cuttlefish, clam, shrimp, green onion, and mixed seafood in the signature broth, and their Chicken Kalguksu—a dish that Momofuku‘s David Chang chose as his favorite meal!—consisting of chicken, potatoes, onions, and green onions. If you are not a fan of long noodles and want a smaller doughy bite, Arirang also serves Sujebi—which has a similar concept to Kalguksu except that, instead of noodles, there are small flakes of dough similar to rice cakes. Now, if you want the best of both worlds, you can even get any menu item as Kal-Jaebi, which gives you half and half.
Arirang is known for their Kalguksu, but they also have a lot of other options to choose from. Other traditional Korean dishes that are favorites among customers are their Pajeon, a Korean-style pancake, and handmade Kimchi Mandu.
Arirang’s large portions may alarm you, but I guarantee you will be picking up your bowl for every last drop.
32 W 32nd St, 3rd Fl
New York, NY 10001
[Photos: Chris H. / Yelp]