My friend Lauren at Old Red Boots reviewed this restaurant a while back and recommended it to me. People keep asking me about good Korean restaurants (since I am hapa Hangul!) in Nashville, and until now I couldn't give one.
Korea House is legit. It's located in Charlotte Park (i.e. West Nashville), quite a little haul from Franklin. But at least the drive helped us work up an appetite.
|Dukboki, stir-fried seasoned rice cake & vegetables in a spicy sauce|
We ordered a variety of dishes, though I of course indulged in my beloved kalbi. They served it off the bone, but I really enjoyed it. Mom and Sissy liked their meals too. It was hot, delicious, and tasty!
For the official Korean review, Mom says, "It's not as good as what you get in Korea or Los Angeles, but it is authentic and delicious!" She spoke in Korean to the hostess and servers, so she got the scoop. The portion sizes are large for what I've seen at Korean restaurants, which is another good thing.
The restaurant itself, like many foodie finds, is located in a nondescript strip mall. The seating area itself is not large (maybe seating for 40, max?), so I recommend you get there for an earlier dinner if you don't have time to wait. We arrived around 6 and sat immediately, but by the time we left the line was out the door. It's a good sign when you see people lining up for dinner at your Korean restaurant!
|Kalbi, marinated beef shortrib steak|
|Japchae, sweet potato noodles stir-fried with vegetables and beef|
|Bibimbap, literally "mixed rice"|
I've noticed a lot more foodies are embracing the Korean trend, and I love it! There's kimchi fusion happening all over the place, in tacos, sushi, burgers, and more. I remember back when just bringing dried seaweed to school lunch was a "weird" thing, and now it's mainstream.
If you're nervous about trying Korean food, don't be! I actually think it's more approachable than you might think. It's not sushi, it's not udon, it's not American fake Chinese. It's just Korean. It's spicy, it's salty, it's flavorful. It's fresh. If you take leftovers home, the smell will linger in your car for a day. You add sriracha/red paste to taste, and you share everything at the table. Korean meals are all about community and tasting it all, kind of like tapas.
I think that Bibimbap, Korean "mixed rice" is a great starting point. It's kind of a Korean salad. You can have it with or without meat/egg, and it comes with rice and veggies in one big bowl. Yum. If you're a Ron Swanson like me, Bulgogi is a marinated beef dish that you're sure to love. And try all the little plates on the table! It's part of the experience.