Diverse and Hearty Korean Fare at Arang
By Miss Jane
Arang, a Japanese-Korean fusion restaurant situated in Korea Town, provides a dining experience that embraces what many of us love about New York City: Diversity! Serving traditional Korean dishes as well as sushi, this eatery offers some great takes on American and Chinese favorites without falling short of flavor and substance.
Grab a window seat, it provides a great view of the bustling street below and start with a sip of saki. The restaurant offers an array of many mixtures, my favorite is the Soju yogurt flavor, which has a sweet creamy taste like that of a cream soda. Don’t let the sweet taste fool you, after downing a couple shots, it is definitely a feel-good drink.
If you’re not into saki, try one of their Korean beers. My guest loved Hite, which had a light crisp taste (add lime and you’ll think you’re South of the Border.)
For appetizers, the sky is the limit. I initially looked at some of the dishes with skepticism, but was delightfully surprised at how much I loved them all! My two favorites were the Kimchee, a vegetable dish, which had a nice tangy, spicy kick, and a potato salad, that could rival those served at your family’s BBQ or Sunday dinner. It had just the right hint of mayonnaise, egg, and seasonings. My guest and I couldn’t get enough of it!
The restaurant also offers a great mix of sushi from Alaska (salmon with cucumber and avocado) to Rainbow #1(tuna, yellowtail, salmon, and bass on a California roll) to Titanic (salmon and avocado on top of spicy tuna and cucumber).
For main courses, many of the meals are comfort foods–filling and hearty with a soulful taste. My favorite was the Kimchee Jaeyook Dukboki, a dish with sautéed kimchee pork, rice cakes, and mozzarella. It resembles lasagna, one of my favorite Italian dishes, and has a zesty flair via the Korean sauces and spices. Plus, the rice cakes aren’t your crispy health food staple, think tofu but more chewy and yummy. The Dukboki comes in eight varieties including chicken and curry and BBQ beef.
My guest’s favorite was the Bul dak, or fire chicken, a dish not for the faint of taste buds. With a great mix of veggies and fiery sauce, he was licking his fingers and wanting to order more.
We also enjoyed the seafood scallion pancakes, which resemble the pancakes that come with Chinese egg foo yung and the Haemul pajun, or beef tempura, fried meatballs with a light crunch that’s not greasy at all.
Arang’s menu also boasts a great twist on pizza with the Donkatsu which has breaded and pan fried pork cutlets with marinara sauce and mozzarella. If you’re a vegetarian, they have something for you as well. Try the Teumsae Ramen, a dish made with spicy Korean peppers and red pepper powder and served with rice marinated in sesame oil and rolled in seaweed.
A great perk beyond the wonderful food: The restaurant is open late on weekends (until 6 a.m.), which comes in handy for a night after partying.
Most of the portions are large enough to eat with more than one person, so bring a date, the family, or a few friends, and step out into Korea Town for dishes that will provide a break from the usual–with flavor elements from around the world.
–Dollar Sushi: Sunday – Thursday until 10 p.m.
— Lunch: $6.95 until 6 p.m.
–Happy hour: Sunday – Thursday, 4 p.m.-8 p.m. ($3 domestic beer; $4 sakis)