NYC’s Koreatown has enough restaurants to make any foodie’s head spin. The food ranges from mind-blowingly fantastic to greasy and insipid, and choosing the winners from the duds can be daunting. Fortunately, standbys like Don’s Bogam are a no-risk choice for guaranteed fine dining Korean-style.
Don’s Bogam is rather upscale-looking wine bar and Korean restaurant. It is dark and elegant, with both regular tables and tables sent into the floor where patrons can barbeque their own meats. Behind the extensive sake list and elegant decor is some fantastic home-style Korean cooking.
Every meal at a Korean restaurant starts with panchan—little assorted dishes that are complimentary and bottomless. Don’s Bogam serves panchan like spicy pickled daikon kimchi, soy marinated fish cakes, and marinated lotus root. Spring onion and roasted sesame pajeon is a savory pancake that is a great choice off the menu. The pajeon is crispy without and slightly doughy within, with nutty sesame seeds. Pork and chive dolsot bibimbap arrives to the table still sizzling. The pork is sweet and spicy, and the chives brighten the hearty, spicy dish. Be sure to enjoy the crunchy layer of cooked rice at the bottom of the stone bowl.
The gochujang served with this isn’t nearly as spicy as it looks. It is made with lots of chili peppers, yes but also has a hefty amount of sugar and fermented soybeans that add salty and funky notes to the sauce.
Don’s Bogam is more than a reliable restaurant, it serves outstanding Korean food. It is a bit more expensive than other restaurants in Koreatown, but the quality and quantity of food more than make up for it. There is also a comprehensive wine and sake list, and the service is always quick and polite. Don’t let the vast choices in Koreatown confuse you any longer—head straight to Don’s Bogam and enjoy the best that Koreatown has to offer.
17 E. 32nd St.
New York, NY 10016