Kunjip is the type of place that is probably too popular for its own good. You never are able to come in and enjoy a relaxing meal with friends, as you are constantly reminded of the hustle and bustle. A menu is shoved in your hands as soon as you arrive, an unsubtle hint to get your order ready while you wait for a table. The hosts and servers are all brusk and at times even rude, but if you're ready for this atmosphere, it's worth it for the food.
There are many splendid cold noodle dishes, and Kunjip is a great place to come for summer dining, despite the fact that they also cater to the BBQ crowd. Bibim nang myun ($12.95, below) is nothing to write home about, but the dense, thin noodles do shine. It does not seem like that much food, but the noodles are weighty and this bowl will fill you up.
The menu here is varied and long, like most of the Korean eateries on the block, so ordering a warm dish is not a problem either. The gobdol bibimbop ($13.95, below) arrives in a heated stone pot and contains ground meat with many types of vegetables and an egg cracked over it. Mix that in quick if you are not in the mood to eat it raw.
It doesn't look like much before getting mixed up, but the choonchun makooksu ($12.95, below) is an outright winner here. It's a refreshing bowl of noodles, ground meat, and vegetables, all very spicy and flavorful.
Coming at afternoon off-hours can sometimes reward you with a little respite from these gruff conditions, but don't count on it. Just be prepared and have your urban game face on.
9 West 32nd Street, New York NY