Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Korea House

Sissy came to Nashville, and Mom came down from Indiana to join us for a weekend.  Since it's not often we all get together minus Dad, I figured we'd indulge in something we love that he isn't a fan of: Korean food!

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.

Korea House on Urbanspoon


  1. Replies
    1. And these are just iPhone photos! I never used to eat Dukboki because I don't so spicy (no kimchi for me) but without too much sauce I really love those rice cake noodle things!

  2. I was literally 4 minutes ago about to google Korean restaurants near Franklin. I'm not super familiar with Korean food, but I love Korean barbecue and I have friends in Korea now who are constantly telling me I'd love it. Plus, my nickname was kimchi growing up so I reckon I better familiarize. Any closer recommendations? I swear I live in a bubble and Charlotte seems forever far away

    1. Kimmie, unfortunately, the quest for good Korean food means a hike from Franklin. That is why it took me a year to try Korea House! There is another one people recommend called Seoul Garden, towards the airport where Edmondsen and Nolensville meet. Closer than Charlotte but not near Franklin really.

      There used to be a semi-authentic place on Carothers, but it closed down. I took my Mom there once and she disliked it so much she refused to go back! So having her seal of approval on Korea House is a big deal. If I try Seoul Garden, I will post a review.

    2. Or you go to Seoul Garden with me... Wink wink!


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