Seoul Child

Yamamoto and company teach us to stand on wobbly chopsticks

Then comes the main attraction: the barbecue. Korean barbecue is famous for its subtle marriage of flavors and textures, creating the kind of harmonious wallop that chefs from Suwon to San Diego toil toward their entire careers. New Seoul provides all the tools for you to find your own equilibrium. You choose from a selection of meats — short ribs, thin-sliced brisket, two kinds of pork, and chicken — that are grilled on your tabletop. You grab the meat hot off the grill and stuff it inside crisp lettuce leaves to make little wraps. The cool part comes from the wide selection of flavors you can stick inside those pockets, like grilled garlic, onion, scallion, and shiitake, plus rice, salty miso paste, and spicy chili paste.

You're also given a selection of panchan to experiment with, side dishes such as pickled radish, fresh bean sprouts, slivers of zucchini sautéed in garlic, slices of fermented fish cake, and kimchi. New Seoul makes its panchan from scratch, which is impressive given its variety and quality. Kimchi, the fermented cabbage dish most often associated with Korean cuisine, is particularly good here, fragrant and playfully spicy — and they're happy to bring more.

The whole point is variety and balance. Take a bit of galbi ($19.95) — short ribs marinated in garlic, onion, soy sauce, and sugar — and plop it in a leaf with some bean paste, roasted garlic, and grilled onion. The meat, unctuous and hot from the grill, plays off the cool, breezy lettuce; the sweet earthiness of the garlic complements the salty miso. Repeat the process with the spicy, tender, perfectly marinated pork, doeji bulgoki ($15.95). Then try it with shiitakes and kimchi or scallion and rice. The combinations are nearly infinite.

Joe Rocco

Location Info

Map

New Seoul Korean Restaurant

809 Lake Ave.
Lake Worth, FL 33460

Category: Restaurant > Asian

Region: Lake Worth

Details

New Seoul Korean Restaurant, 809 Lake Ave., Lake Worth. Open for lunch Tuesday through Friday 11:30 a.m. till 2:30 p.m., and dinner Tuesday through Thursday 5:30 till 10 p.m.; Friday through Sunday 5:30 till 11 p.m. Call 561-582-5800.

And the 'rents? I had to pry Dad away from the spicy pork, while Mom cooed over the freshness and variety of the panchan. It was their first foray into Korean. I doubt it will be their last. They're converts, thanks to New Seoul, not me.

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