•    Kang Suh Korean Restaurant   

    If you’re looking for a place to dine at 3AM, go to Kang Suh’s. It’s not a 24-hour gas station or a small deli around the corner. It’s a full-fleshed Korean Japanese restaurant. You would think that it, like every other restaurant, would turn off its lights and shut its doors by midnight. No, not here – not at Kang Suh’s. It’s open 24/7.

    Kang Suh first opened its doors in 1983, when Koreatown was still a young offspring. With competition only from one other Korean restaurant on the block at the time, it strove to serve the freshest, most native flavors to its growing Korean immigrant community. And even when the community began to expand and Korean restaurants began to dominate a majority of the block, Kang Suh held its place.

    And of all the restaurants in Koreatown, we chose to go to Kang Suh first.

    Walking through the glass doors brought upon us a bit of nervousness, but eagerness to eat as well. In front of us we saw a sushi bar and tables scattered throughout. This is the first floor. We saw two tables seated, but that was it. For some reason, the color red is masking my images of the restaurant. The diners, presumably Korean, looked at us as we scanned the room. There were three of us – all of different cultural backgrounds and not one of us was Korean. The waiter directed us to the top floor. Nervousness consumed me. It would be awkward if we were the only diners up there, seeing that there weren’t many customers in the first floor.

    As we calmly walked up the red carpet steps and fixed our eyes on the opening, we saw diners – lots of them. The waiter, a seemingly kind man with a tough exterior, escorted us to our table about 10 feet from the steps. He didn’t smile at us. His posture seemed tense. We sat down.

    There’s three things I remember clearly about the restaurant.

    First, the décor is very simple, but remarkably comfortable. The lighting is perfect for occasional dining with friends and family. The colors of white-beige, red, and brown consumed the space quite nicely, bringing a native vibe to the restaurant. In addition, I love the Japanese curtain walls – a lovely addition to this Korean-Japanese fusion.

    Second, the diners were, more or less, Americans or non-Koreans. Even the Korean-looking customers (the young children) spoke English to their parents. Their mother was Korean and their father was American. This seems to be a typical scene in Koreatown. More and more Koreans seem to engage themselves in foreign relationships than with their own kind, especially the women.

    The third thing I remember about the restaurant is the food. The banchan was simply amazing. The flavors were distinct – like no other flavors I’ve tasted before. Yearning to taste a bit of everything, we each took the pleasure to share the dishes we ordered. Two words – loved it. Although we did not try all the dishes available due to our student budget, the restaurant raved relatively positive reviews. Their reviews can be found on the Internet and in food magazines.

    Visit: Kang Suh ‘s Restaurant

    Here’s a scope of their food choices from their very own website.

    “Not only is our Korean food delicious, but our sushi is also absolutely delectable. Our menu has an endless number of different choices ranging from our delicious Korean pancakes, BBQ, casseroles and rice options to our specialty Korean entrees and sushi rolls. We are sure that everyone in your party will find just what they are looking for.”

    Our dining experience at Kang Suh’s began with few expectations but in the end, we were satisfied. Our bellies were full; our minds were at ease; our questions were answered. It couldn’t have ended in a better way than with an unbearably cluttered stomach.