49 W 32nd St, New York, NY | Directions 1000140.748106 -73.987765
Daily: 24 hours
Neighborhoods: Midtown, Koreatown
Rude service, cafeteria like atmosphere, mediocre food- much better alternatives available. – I am not sure what the allure for KumGang San is; perhaps it is the imitation cliff face with a baby grand piano perched upon it but anyone who has sampled Korean food from the area would soon recognize after a visit here that there are simply much better choices available. The atmosphere at KumGang San- bright light, crowed wide open spaces, and all you can hear is the clamoring of plates and the din of conversations- very cafeteria like. The food isn't bad but there are simply places in the area that prepare it better and for cheaper prices.
The worst thing about KumGangSan is the service-
Recently while having dinner at KumGang San I was hoping to enjoy a dish of Bim Bim Bop in hot stoneware. I accidentally pointed to the wrong item on the menu and the waiter mentioned that the beef would be raw but he was not clear that there would be no hot stoneware where it would cook. Beef tar tar styled Korean dish arrived at my table in a cold metal bowl and I realized I had made a mistake. I then say to the waiter, " I am sorry I made a mistake, would it be okay if I had a hot bowl or something to cook the meat in- I would be happy to pay extra." Before I even had a chance to finish my sentence the waiter shouted at me saying "No! I told you what is! No!" and he stormed off. I sat there rather surprised and shocked at his reaction and decided to put the dish aside and see if he would return more composed but he didn't want to serve me anymore. So I approached the manager and I explained that I would be happy to keep the dish but I wished for some means of cooking the meat. He agreed it would be okay but when he came over he was annoyed, and unfriendly. As I left I thanked the manager but he wouldn't listen to me. It was simply the rudest service I have experienced. Alternatives- for inexpensive vegetarian Korean try Cho Dang Gol (55W 33rd), for nice serene atmosphere try HanGawi (12 E. 32nd), other good bets- Woo Lae Oak (148 Mercer), or Yangpyun (43W 33rd).
Inattentive Service – Every single time I go to this restaurant, I experience one of the worst services you can receive in a Korean restaurant. Unfortunately, I go cuz I have to as this is one of the largest places and sitting is almost guaranteed. The service is Inattentive, and slow. The waiter will not show up unless you have to call him, which is hard as they are never looking toward your side. I found them many times talking between themselves and not taking care of business. The food is OK, and the BBQ is below average. It has a nice decor, and you are paying for it. If you want to taste the real Korean food in 32nd ST. go somewhere else.
Don't let the restaurante fool you with the free parking, as sometimes they won't validate it. On a Saturday, I took my out of town friends because it was the only one who offered free parking. Oh, well.... spent over $100 for lunch for 4 people and because I was 1 minute over the limit, the parking ticket was not validated. They should have covered at least the first 2 hours that they have promised and I could paid the difference, but this was not an option with the restaurant.
Always get a table, always yummy – Get the seafood scallion pancake and the seafood spicy casserole. They are sooooo good! every time I've gone the food has always been excellent. Love the decor too.
good late nite eating – its just over all a pretty good place for kalbi, bulgogi and bibimbap are really good in this one and the flushing one both
Just like home cookin'... – As a Korean American, this is by far my favourite Korean restaurant in the city. I was so excited to know they have a location in Manhattan. The service may seem "rude" to Americans - but it's just a different custom. The service is fast, efficient, and on point. The food is always consistent. The vegetable mandoo (fried) is a great appetizer, as well as the pajun pancake. Of course, it's known for the Korean BBQ but there are so many other delicious dishes to try (ie. gop dol bimabap; tofu jigae, etc.) Great place to get a quick and filling meal. However, good to arrive on off-peak hours since it does get crazy!
Lacking in every aspect – Overpriced and underwhelming food, in portion size and taste. Poor to non-existent service. My first and last time I will be dining there.
GREAT EXPERIENCE – Just loved KumGangSan!! To avoid the crowd, we arrived about 5 pm, which was a perfect time. We were greeted and seated upstairs. Our waitress, was extremely, pleasant and asked if we would like some help in planning our dinner. We choose the barbecue beef and seafood combination...which was Excellent. They start you out with about 8 different dishes of appetizers, which is included with your meal. We also decided to try a soup and rice dish, portions are large and can be shared. Try something different, you will be glad you did, as the food is really wonderful. Planning our second trip back soon!!
Great K-Town Experience – Don't come here after the 10PM mark or you're doomed to subpar food. Some folks believe this place is spotty in service and in food, but there is no denying the scene is very nice. It can get spendy depending on some items and in some ways its not as worth it as some other places on the street. I like the dinner hours where there is live music and a lively ambiance. Food has always been great here for me, I wish I could say the same for other patrons.
K-Town BBQ at It's Best! – Kum Gan San is famous for having really great food, ambience and the greatest Korean BBQ ever! It is huge in size with a beautiful waterfall at the entrance. Sometimes, there is a woman perched on the waterfall playing the flute. Welcome to the world of fine dining. Food is abundant. You get about 10 tiny appetizers with each meal. Portions are meant to be shared family style. Food is excellent. Service is great but, the bill tends to run high at the end of the night, especially if you've had drinks with your meal. Overall, a fantastic place to try some quality Korean food.
Some of the best Korean food this side of Seoul – You may not be served quickly, and the wait staff can't be called overly friendly however this is a must have New York experience. This is quality Seoul food and it's open 24/7. They have a decent selection of soju and sake. The kimchee is excellent. My personal favorite here is the dak bul gui, however the sizzling rice bowls are enticing as well and if you're into noodles try the Jap che. Don't be intimidated by the menu. Choose something that has ingredients you enjoy and don't worry about being properly satiated or satisfied. This is a great date dinning experience, not for the atmoshpere but for the adventure and food.
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