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Entries Tagged as 'Pleasant Hill Rd'

Seo Ra Beol

Seo Ra Beol
It’s a stand alone building. The name of the restaurant isn’t in English.

Being an Atlanta native, I know the history of food in the city more than most. Because this is the only blog you’ll see that kind of information, I make it a point to include some of that history in almost all my posts. By now you should also already know I love Korean food. I’ve eaten so much of it everywhere. I’ve eaten at almost all the Korean places in metro Atlanta. We used to go to this one and only Korean place in Georgia located in downtown Atlanta when I was in elementary all the time. That’s when I decided Korean was going to be my favorite cuisine.

Seo Ra Beol

Tofu 88 on Buford Highway was the Asian Waffle House. It was open 24 hours and served cheap and good eats. It was the place to study on the weekends when most college libraries and coffee shops are already closed. It was also the only place to get the most amazing Pork Kimchi fried rice on the planet. It closed three years ago. Right next door to it was the most awesome Mandarin restaurant that was an Atlanta institution for the non-Cantonese Chinese community and has been around before I was even born. I remember going there regularly for family dinners while I was growing up. After about twenty years, sadly, the place closed. At that time, the Korean boom was just beginning in Atlanta. That’s when Han Il Kwan came into the picture and occupied the vacant spot. About three years ago, when most restaurants were closing due to the economic downturn, Han Il Kwan decided to close and relocate to Pleasant Hill where most Korean businesses are located, thus, having better exposure to Koreans. They got the old location of another failed (yet awesome restaurant) called Seoul Garden (which had the best chap jae). But business began to pick up and instead of closing and relocating, they decided to keep Han Il Kwan open but close around midnight instead of being open the usual 24 hours. They gave the new Han Il Kwan restaurant another name: Seo Ra Beol. You’ll find some of the staff from Tofu 88 here, too. Side note: I saw former Atlanta Falcons Hines Ward eating dinner here with his family two years ago. He’s very nice and humble.

Seo Ra Beol

How I’ve never written about this place still surprises me. Just like it’s sister restaurant, this place has amazing food. But unlike it, you will find hardly any Americans (or non-Koreans) eating here. I have yet to see one in the three years I’ve been eating here regularly (well, except for Hines Ward who is technically Korean so he doesn’t count, me, and the friends I take here). The menu is as extensive and mirrors Han Il Kwan except for maybe a handful of dishes. There’s Korean BBQ, soups, stews, and both authentic and mainstream Korean dishes. I love the spicy beef rib soup here. The broth is bold, not thin or watery, and has just the right amount of spiciness. The beef short ribs are very tender and flavorful.

Seo Ra Beol

The Yankee in me loves fried rice and I am known to beg any kitchen to make me some if I don’t see it on the menu. The one here has a smoky flavor and not mooshy just like the way fried rice should be. You can basically ask them to make whatever kind of fried rice you want. I get beef with Korean sausages and a fried egg. Sometimes, I beg for kimchi fried rice. Just remember to ask nicely.

Seo Ra Beol

This is one of the best places in the city for galbi, Korean short ribs. The marinade they use is phenomenal. It has the perfect balance of sweet and savory. They also cook the meat perfectly. Korean ribs isn’t steak. It’s also marinated. Cooking it to medium makes the meat stringy and rubbery. It has to be grilled enough to be a little crispy on the outside without burning yet tender and juicy on the inside. Not very many places can do that. They do here.

Seo Ra Beol

Seo Ra Beol

Seo Ra Beol

The soondubu, bibimbap, spicy beef soup, black goat soup, pancakes, are all good here. So if you’re hungry or craving Korean late night, you can go here (or to Han Il Kwan). You won’t be disappointed.

Note: The restaurant is accessible on both Pleasanthill Rd. and Steve Reynolds Blvd. Please note that the sign is NOT in English. You can read my friend FNS’s post here.

Seo Ra Beol
3040 Steve Reynolds Boulevard
Duluth, GA 30096
(770) 497-1155

Seo Ra Beol on Urbanspoon

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Tang Roo (Duluth)

Tang Roo (Duluth)

Not all Korean restaurants are eater-friendly. Some do not have English menus, English-speaking wait staff, or mainstream food. This is one of those places. It’s not for those unfamiliar with traditional Korean cuisine or want to eat popular mainstream Korean food. But. If you want everyday food that Koreans eat at home then this is the place to go to.

Tang Roo (Duluth)

Soups rule in Korean cuisine so this place has a lot of them. The counterpart to our chicken soup, their Samgyetang or “well-being” soup hits the spot. Boiling hot milky broth is infused with fall-off-the-bone chicken stuffed with rice, ginseng, and Chinese dates. The result is the perfect soup for that cold weather. Not to mention, it would also cure you of that nagging cold you might have. Order either half or the whole chicken, season with sea salt and cracked pepper served along side the banchan, and you’re good to go.

Other notables here include the soft tofu soup (soondubu), the kimchi stew (kichi jigae), and the rice cake/dumpling soup. There’s a hand-cut noodle soup with seafood that I’m dying to try next.

Definitely a good place to try if you’re in the area or needing a soup intro to your second lunch.


Tang Roo

Inside the Nukoa Plaza
3230 Steve Reynolds Blvd.
#11
Duluth, GA 30096
770-232-5204

Tang Roo on Urbanspoon

[tags]Korean, Duluth{/tags]

Boba Mocha

This one’s for my good friend B who loves boba as much as I do.

Boba Mocha - Duluth

If you’re like me who scouts streets looking for new places to try then I’m sure you’ve noticed this plaza across from Walmart on Pleasant Hill Road. There was a sketchy restaurant in there that had dark tinted windows called Folk House that only opened late at night. It looked like a scary place catering to men only so I never ventured in there. Late in September, a new bubble tea joint opened in its place. It’s a super cute space where you can hang out, snack, and get your fill on bubble teas.

Boba Mocha - Duluth

Boba Mocha

There aren’t as many flavors of bubble teas as other places but they have the staples. I like that the flavors taste real. And the boba? Sweet and chewy.

Boba Mocha - Duluth

Taiwanese snacks cost a mere $2.99 per order. Taiwanese nuggets, chicken wings and sweet potato fries are good options.

Boba Mocha - Duluth

Daily specials include sandwiches and rice plates.

Boba Mocha - Duluth

Boba Mocha - Duluth

They also have Chinese pastries including Wife cakes and buns with savory and sweet fillings. Wife cake, you ask? They’re flat, thin pastries with flaky crust. The inside resembles chewy, dense, firm, mashed potatoes. It’s a traditional cake in Hongkong and mainland China and comes with an assortment of fillings. I have always loved the wintermelon or pork fillings which you can find in Chinese bakeries in town. Here, at Boba Mocha, they usually have pineapple flavor.

It’s a mish-mash of a place that serves Korean pastries supplied by White Windmill, cheesecakes from Cheesecake Factory, ice-cream, and other desserts. If nothing else, it’s a nice and quiet place to sit down.

(Be sure to check-in on foursquare to get 50% off your entire bill.)

Boba Mocha
2628 Pleasant Hill Rd.
Duluth, GA 30096
(678) 367-3757

Boba Mocha on Urbanspoon

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Shabu & Shabu (Duluth)

Shabu n Shabu (Duluth)

I was once told that Koreans love to eat soup during the summer. To cool down. Fight heat with heat. Whatever. So even though this soup place opened just as summer is starting (this past Saturday, to be exact), I’m sure it’s gonna have a following. So here I am. It’s 90 degrees outside. And I’m eating shabu shabu. This place is a Korean version of the ubiquitous Chinese hot pot. What’s the difference, you ask? It’s all in the broth. Japanese shabu shabu uses a dashi broth (stock made with kelp). Korean versions usually use kimchi, chili powder and chili paste. Chinese use plain meat or seafood stock.

Shabu n Shabu (Duluth)

Shabu n Shabu (Duluth)

This place is more like a Chinese mini hot pot joint. That means, you don’t get to share. You get your own mini pot of broth (they have various kinds) and a plate of veggies. You pick your meat. You let the stock boil then you cook your veggies and choice of meat to your liking. You dip them in your choice of sauce (they have a sauce station). Then you eat. Simple!

Go for lunch when prices are half price and start at $9.99. Dinner prices start at $12.99. As with all shabu shabu places, the key is in the sauce. And while you can concoct whatever potion you like, ask for them to make you the spicy ponzu sauce. So, so good. Everything else is pretty standard — thin slices of beef, pork, and chicken. Substantial seafood consist of fish slices, clams, squid, fish balls, and shrimp. Veggies and accompaniments are the usual suspects: napa cabbage, Korean broccoli, corn, a piece of mushroom, enoki mushroom, fish cake, slice of squash, tofu, and an egg. And if you’ve been frustrated by most ethnic places’ lack of service, fear not, they have the best one anywhere — attentive yet never intrusive.

Now go cool down this Atlanta heat with soup.

*Postscript: Took my mom and my sister here last night and they absolutely loved it. This is now our favorite hot pot spot in town. The food? They use nothing but top notch ingredients. The space? Fun and contemporary.

Located next to Hansel & Gretel Bakery. Grand opening today!

Shabu n Shabu
2605 Pleasant Hill Rd
Ste 300
Duluth, GA 30096
(678) 584-1111

Shabu n Shabu on Urbanspoon

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Pepper Garden (Duluth)

Pepper Garden (Duluth)

There are so many new Korean places in Duluth I can’t keep up. This one opened a week ago and I’m so happy to see they’re already busy everyday. First, let me tell you how to get there. Although the address says Pleasant Hill, the storefront faces North Berkeley Lake (across from Super H). So, to get there, take North Berkeley Lake Rd away from Super H Mart (if you go the other way you’ll hit Super H). It’s the free standing building in the Walmart plaza next to the gasoline station.

Pepper Garden (Duluth)
Best deal for $3.50

Now the food. I liken the quality and taste of food here with the fast casual concept. If you want a quick, no-frills meal then this is your spot. They’ve got different kinds of kimbap (maki rolls) that cost $3.50 an order and comes with 12 big slices. Served with a bowl of spicy soup and daikon kimchi, they make for a good snack or appetizer. I suggest the bulgogi kimbap so you get a little protein but the fish cake one is also good (if chewy is your thing). There’s also a cheese kind that was actually okay.

Pepper Garden (Duluth)
$7.99 and it’s not even full :(

I’m a huge fan of yukgaejang because it’s my favorite Korean soup. I can proudly say I’ve had it at almost all the Korean places in the metro that serve it. The version here is ordinary — no depth of flavors, just flat beef broth. There are a good amount of beef pieces in the spicy soup although they needed a few more hours in the pot to tenderize. I do like that it didn’t come piled high with bean sprouts (a turn-off and a no-no) and that it came with lots of fernbrake (or fiddleheads, a black, noodle-like veggie that’s a major component of this soup). It’s a good deal for $7.99 if you’re not particular with your yukgaejangs. Unfortunately, I am and I’d rather spend that money next door in either direction of Pleasant Hill for amazing yukgaejang that even comes with handmade noodles. But that’s just me.

They have two kinds of ramen: one with veggies and egg and another one with cheese. (Really, cheese?) The menu says “instant noodles soup” so I wouldn’t even dare order that if I were you. Besides, you have better use for your $5.99. They have quite a selection of rice cake dishes — tteokbokki — chewy rice cakes resembling solid tubes of pasta in spicy tomato-based broth. I am an equal opportunity tteokbokki eater so the ones here are okay to me (although a bit pricier than most places).

Pepper Garden (Duluth)

There’s one thing, however, that you must get here. The Chicken Juk (rice porridge) is really pretty good. Flavorful minced chicken swim in delicious porridge. It has the perfect balance of sticky and soupy. Comfort food, yes!

Overall, a pricey place. Nothing spectacular overall but hits the spot when you’re in the immediate area and craving for something quick.


Pepper Garden

2605 Pleasant Hill Rd.
Suite 600-A
Duluth, GA 30096
(770) 497-9010

Pepper Garden on Urbanspoon

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