The best-known section of University Drive in Lauderhill might be Koreatown. But drive too fast down the mile-long stretch between Commercial Boulevard and NW 44th Street and you could miss it. The area is home to just a handful of Korean barbecue restaurants and specialty markets, but it's the type of neighborhood where you can sample some of South Florida's best banchan, dine with a tabletop grill, and score a giant jar of kimchi -- all in one trip.
At the center of it all is Gabose, a 14-year-old restaurant that stands as the original landmark for this niche neighborhood and also the final foray in a series of establishments opened (and sold) by James Soonkuk Hong and Eunsuk Hong. Today, it's run by their daughter and her husband, Susan and Fred Kim.
See also: Closer Look: Gabose Pocha in Lauderhill (Photos)
Gabose's early success helped to attract other like-minded businesses, starting with Oriental Mart, the Korean market in the shopping center across the street, says Susan. It didn't take long for others to follow suit, and now places like Manna Korean offer additional dining options for those who enjoy the robust, spicy dishes of Korea.
But there's more to Korean cuisine than just barbecue, she adds.
"I wanted to create a traditional Korean pub experience, something that you can't find here," says Susan. "I wanted to do something fun, where I could also be creative. This place is all about drinking, drinking, eating, and drinking."
So she created Gabose Pocha. The 3-month-old eatery, next door to the original barbecue restaurant, is Susan's interpretation of a Korean pojangmacha, reference to the tarp-covered street bars that sprang up after the country's liberation from Japan in 1945.