Kang Ho Dong Baekjeong

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85 Very Good

The Manhattan flagship of a famous Korean barbecue mini-chain.

1 E. 32nd St., New York, NY, 10016



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The lowdown

Between the sizzling meat, thumping music, and servers zipping around the dining room, it’s impossible not to fall under Kang Ho Baekjeong’s spell. The famous South Korean chain arrived first in Flushing in 2013, followed by the Manhattan location. (The two franchises are operated independently, but they share a similar aesthetic: spare and clean, with stainless-steel vents, concrete floors, and thick wooden tables that wouldn’t look out of place in a beer hall.) The banchan is reliably on point, like the crisp greens dressed refreshingly in soy, vinegar, and garlic; the requisite kimchee; and jiggly soft tofu dressed with soy and chile. What truly separates Kang Ho is the superior quality of the meat and the way it’s all handled both before and after it hits the grill. Thinly sliced brisket is swiftly pushed away by staffers before overcooking, and you’ll be (gently) commanded to eat it as soon as it’s ready. The selection is compelling, too: Along with the usual offerings, there’s beef tongue, pork jowl, and marinated pork collar. It’s all good, so order a combo plate and supplement it with a favorite cut because if you don’t go all in, you’re missing the point.

Chris Crowley

What you need to know

Insider Tips The restaurant is always busy, so pick out a nearby bar to wait at.

DrinksFull Bar

Noise LevelBring earplugs!