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Republic of Korea, ROK for short, is chef and owner Michael Kwonâ€™s first venture as a restaurateur. He attended culinary school at the Art Institute of Fort Lauderdale before going on to a variety of high-end restaurants, including the Mandarin Oriental in Washington, D.C., and D. Rodriguez Ocean on Miami Beach, and then returning home to open ROK amid a cluster or Korean BBQ joints in Lauderhill. Even though Kwon says the small-plate tapas menu is his passion, Korean barbecue is the highlight here. Donâ€™t expect the traditional, in-table charcoal grills that you can find across the street at competing restaurant Gabose. Here, a variety of marinated meats comes on sizzling-hot fajita platters designed to keep the meat warm and free you from going home smelling like charcoal. A good choice is the $20-something Korean barbecue plate, which comes with a sampling of pork, chicken, and short rib. The little dishes of bean sprouts, tofu, and marinated veggies? Those are banchan, traditional Korean side dishes. Donâ€™t be intimidated; sample them all.