As a Korean American, I have been raised as an awfully spoiled Korean food snob, thanks to my mom, who is an amazing cook, also pushed me out of her kitchen, wanted me to be an artist, and described everything in her dishes as "a little bit of this, and a little bit of that". Despite her efforts, I somehow found my way back to kitchens, this time, not hers. She is always proud of her cooking, and I hope she is not disappointed for the fact that she is only the most influential person for me to LOVE food -and to be the biggest Korean food snob in the history! San Soo Kap San doesn't have my mom's food. It's not even close to it. But each time I go there, I am pleased. I may even bring my mom here someday. Since that wasn't happening any time soon, I gathered 11 good friends to join me at San Soo Kap San in Flushing for Korean BBQ.
Even on a Monday, the place was packed. Look around, and you'll quickly figure out the demographic. This is an old school Korean joint. Hardly you'll see young group of Koreans here, unless they're with their parents. Unlike the popular pub joints that attract young Koreans, you wouldn't get a free bottle of Soju as a "service" or consider this as "cheap eats". As soon as all of us finished seating, dishes of Ban Chan (And oh yes, you may ask for refill) started to appear, including napa Kimchi; grilled mackerel; boiled eggs in hot pot; blanched octopus and cabbage with hot pepper sauce; eggplant; bean sprouts, dried cod fish, Irish moss gelatin; cucumber and daikon; and my favorite, and the infamous pickled crab, most of them seasoned with various spicy sauces. *the prices listed maybe higher (inflation!)* We ordered Haemool Pajun($13.95), seafood and scallion pancakes served with soy-mustard sauce; Mandu Gui($10.95), pan-fried dumplings; Tosok Bossam($18.95), sliced boiled pork belly served with cured napa cabbage, fresh oysters, shrimp sauce, and daikon kimchi; Nakji Bokkem($18.95), sauteed baby octopus, vegetables, and udon noodle in spicy sauce; and 6 orders of Kalbi ($26 per order), marinated short ribs cooked on table top charcoal grill; and finally to finish the meal, as the way we do where I come from, tasting of Mul Nang Myung ($10.95), literally means cold noodle, cold beef noodle soup served with chewy noodle, daikon, slice of pressed beef, cucumber, and a half of hard boiled egg. This may sound like an exhausting amount of food. And sure, they were. They even had to stalk some of the dishes on top of another. But certainly not exhausting in its flavor, and most importantly, the experience of sharing a meal with friends made even more fun. Go there with lots of people, and just let your belly go. I'm done writing. Enjoy the food porn.
San Soo Kap San
38-13 Union St. Flushing, NY