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Gamasot, Korean on Hechinger Drive in Springfield - Sul Leung Tang Cooked for 48 Hours - Closed


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Gamasot Restaurant
6963 Hechinger Drive
Springfied, VA 22151

In November, over on the Hee Been thread, Nick told me about a specialty restaurant for my favorite Korean soup, Sollongtang. It's a beef bone soup, made by boiling the bones for 48 hours in a large iron pot. This pot is called a gamasot, and gives this restaurant it's name.

Barbara and I finally made our way there last week. It's in a strip mall in front of an old Hechinger's on Backlick Road. The decor is modern, with mostly normal tables, and a few of the traditional Korean low tables and cushions. In the back of the room is part of the kitchen, separated by a wall of glass.

My first trip, I had the sollongtang, of course. [They transliterate this as Sel Leung Tang.] It was excellent, better than Gam Me Oak was in Manhattan, easily the best I've had outside of Korea. Rich, smooth, and very soothing. Salt and chopped green onions are on every table, to be added as you need.

Barbara got the Gop Dol Bibimbap, which is the rice, beef, egg, and veggetables in a hot stone bowl. You stir it around with some hot sauce, and make your own fried rice in front of you. This is her favorite Korean dish, and it was wonderful as well. With her dinner she got a side bowl of sollongtang, and agreed it was the best she had tried.

With Korean food, one of the highlights is the panchan, the little side dishes that accompany the meal. Theirs are good, although some are unfamiliar. Let's start with the one that looks like a dark-colored sausage made from rice and noodles. This is soondae, made from rice, noodles, bits of pork and pork blood. It's served with salt and red pepper. I've tried it twice, and haven't acquired the taste for it yet. Another dish has what appears to be a pickled Korean squash. Kimchee and kakduki (radish kimchee) is cut up tableside by the waitress. Both of these are excellent, though I am partial to the radish.

We decided to go back again tonight. This time I had the yook gae jang, a spicy beef soup with green onions, a vegetable (fern, maybe?), egg, and noodles. It was good. It's definately the soup to get on a cold winter night. There is lots of shredded beef in it, and is very filling. Barbara got the bulgogi. It was very good, served with the tender leaves of a cabbage instead of lettuce. The cabbage leaves and soybean paste come out even if you don't get grilled meat. Just rub some soybean paste on a leaf with your chopsticks and eat it.

I really like this place. It is a little bit intimidating, but the waitresses are friendly and willing to tell you what the things are. It helps if you know a little about Korean food first, though. It has a reasonable selection of dishes, so I can get my sollongtang and my wife can find something else if she's not in the mood for soup. I look forward to trying the cold nang myun this summer when it's hot out.

[Note: Off topic, there is a banner on the front of the old Hechinger's saying that it will soon open as "El Grande", a Latino supermarket. I'm looking forward to checking that out.]

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  It was excellent, better than Gam Me Oak was in Manhattan, easily the best I've had outside of Korea. 

Strong words indeed! Its hard to imagine better broth than theirs. Their Kimchee and Rassid=sh are incredible. If this place is only nearly as good it will be a find. Thanks for the tip!

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Yesterday, for the New Year, Gamasot was serving free rice cake soup between the hours of 11:00am and 2:30. Naturally Grover and I took advantage of this fine effort. The panchan wasn't the usual radish and hand cut kimchee but there was a couple of small dishes of kimchee, mixed ferns, and sliced asian pear. The soup was extremely tasty with lots of rice cakes (shaped like coins, this represents money for the new year), small pieces of beef and finely sliced egg. The broth wasn't the usual soulentang broth but a lighter, beefier tasting clear broth. A great way to start the new year.

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Gamasot is a gem. We dined there New Year's Eve. A comforting, delicious way to end a year. Escoffier, how did you hear about the rice cake soup? I don't recall seeing any signs the night before.
The sign was on the door. Of course, it helps to be able to read Korean.
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I have been suffering a stuffy nose since yesterday and had a serious craving for one of my favorite soups of all time, Yook Gae Jang. It is super spicy and the perfect medicine for sinus congestion. I am lucky to have a significant other who frequents this sight and he suggested trying Gamasot, he said it gets high marks and is a quick jaunt from his house.

What a great surprise in so many ways. I love the clean and open interior, with a great view into a small kitchen where a huge vat of broth is ladled into small bowls. It is clean and neat and we were greeted by many warm smiles. The array of panchan was memorizing; our friendly waitress hand cut our radish and napa kimchi, there was a sweet and savory chayote thinly sliced in light soy, a sublimly flavored sausage (blood perhaps?) served warm with a side of seasoned salt, and crisp hearts of napa with a rich and savory paste we were instructed by our server to smear in the middle and roll up. I had to have the Yook Gae Jang although I have already sworn to return for the oxtail tendons with vegetables and spicy sauce. My boyfriend tried the sul leung tang, and by the look of what was leaving the kitchen, one of their more popular dishes. Neither of the soups disappointed. If you can take a little heat the Yook was amazing. It has a rich beefy broth and loads of shredded beef mushrooms and rice noodles. The sul leung was so subtle; I have never had anything so gently flavored. It really tastes like the essence of beef. The whole meal ended with a small tart yogurt drink to go.

There are a lot of reasons to check this place out. I am convinced they perform miracles as I no longer suffer a stuffy nose.

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I have been suffering a stuffy nose since yesterday and had a serious craving for one of my favorite soups of all time, Yook Gae Jang. It is super spicy and the perfect medicine for sinus congestion. I am lucky to have a significant other who frequents this sight and he suggested trying Gamasot, he said it gets high marks and is a quick jaunt from his house.

What a great surprise in so many ways. I love the clean and open interior, with a great view into a small kitchen where a huge vat of broth is ladled into small bowls. It is clean and neat and we were greeted by many warm smiles. The array of panchan was memorizing; our friendly waitress hand cut our radish and napa kimchi, there was a sweet and savory chayote thinly sliced in light soy, a sublimly flavored sausage (blood perhaps?) served warm with a side of seasoned salt, and crisp hearts of napa with a rich and savory paste we were instructed by our server to smear in the middle and roll up. I had to have the Yook Gae Jang although I have already sworn to return for the oxtail tendons with vegetables and spicy sauce. My boyfriend tried the sul leung tang, and by the look of what was leaving the kitchen, one of their more popular dishes. Neither of the soups disappointed. If you can take a little heat the Yook was amazing. It has a rich beefy broth and loads of shredded beef mushrooms and rice noodles. The sul leung was so subtle; I have never had anything so gently flavored. It really tastes like the essence of beef. The whole meal ended with a small tart yogurt drink to go.

There are a lot of reasons to check this place out. I am convinced they perform miracles as I no longer suffer a stuffy nose.

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I haven't posted on Gamasot in a while. I've been going there now for over a year for my Korean soup fixes. The sollongtang and yook gae jang continue to be excellent. I've also had their kalbi tang (beef short rib soup) which was good. Two big short ribs with lots of meat, which the waitresses will cut up for you tableside. I recommend that; it can get messy :o The yook gae jang and kalbi tang are both good winter warming up hearty soups, with plenty of meat and warm broth.

Besides the soups, the spicy pork barbeque is excellent, and the bibimbap in hot stone bowl is a consistently good performer. If you get a non-soup entree, you get a small bowl of sollongtang broth on the side, gratis. Pan fried dumplings are really good too, although an order of those is about a dozen dumplings. I've had the pancake too, and it was good, although I'm having trouble remembering the details right now.

It seems like every time we go, we're the only non-Koreans in the place. Where are the rest of you? Go. It's cheap and yummy.

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We went to Gamasot last Sunday after we came back from the Jersey trip. Somehow we ended up ordering the same food, spicy beef soup. I haven't had it for long time and many restaurant didn't impress me with it. When the soup arrived, I was a bit surprised by the diabolic color. Dark red! However, the taste was amazing. It wasn't too spicy. Plenty of shreded beef and veggies. Finally I found the almost perfect spicy beef soup.

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After the comments about Gamasot in Sietsema's chat the past two weeks, I decided to go for lunch yesterday. I hadn't been in over a month or so, and the first thing we noticed is that they have put paper screens up, dividing the dining room into quarters. I'm not sure if this was a response to the folks who wrote into Sietsema's chat saying they felt stared at for being non-Koreans, or if these were up before that. I didn't care for the screens and liked the more open feel of the room before. That's not going to keep me from going, though.

At Korean restaurants, more than any others, I've had resistance when I've ordered some of the more exotic menu items. Ordering spicy squid at Sorak Garden, or yook hwe at Hee Been, I've gotten many questions and attempts to dissuade me. I've never had that at Gamasot. The most they've ever said when I ordered yook gae jang or the baby octopus in spicy sauce is "Spicy, OK?" Yes, that's very OK.

I hope the folks who were intimidated by Gamasot give it another shot. It's worth it.

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After the comments about Gamasot in Sietsema's chat the past two weeks, I decided to go for lunch yesterday. I hadn't been in over a month or so, and the first thing we noticed is that they have put paper screens up, dividing the dining room into quarters. I'm not sure if this was a response to the folks who wrote into Sietsema's chat saying they felt stared at for being non-Koreans, or if these were up before that. I didn't care for the screens and liked the more open feel of the room before. That's not going to keep me from going, though.

At Korean restaurants, more than any others, I've had resistance when I've ordered some of the more exotic menu items. Ordering spicy squid at Sorak Garden, or yook hwe at Hee Been, I've gotten many questions and attempts to dissuade me. I've never had that at Gamasot. The most they've ever said when I ordered yook gae jang or the baby octopus in spicy sauce is "Spicy, OK?" Yes, that's very OK.

I hope the folks who were intimidated by Gamasot give it another shot. It's worth it.

I saw the paper screen when I went there on Aug 29th. I think that it was requested by the customers who wanted to have semi-privacy. I would like to say this to the folks who wrote into Sietsema's chat saying they felt stared at for being non-Koreans: I felt stared at for being a non-American when I was at a BBQ restaurant in North Carolina. It is the human nature.

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I finally got my husband to go to Gamasot today for lunch. I had the Bi bim bop in the hot pot, and brought half of it home. He had the Galbi tang and enjoyed it very much. I liked the Sollongtang broth, so I got an order to go (I'm supposed to consume "bone broth" daily for the health diet I'm on now, and I like this one much better than other broths I've tasted).

I liked the privacy offered by the screens, but I felt like a bull in a china shop, 'cause I kept bumping into them.

The staff were wonderful and very helpful to us neophytes. I'd been there once before, months ago, with Grover and Escoffier, but they did all the ordering that time. Our waitress was extremely patient with us and explained things to us. I'm sure we'll go back before too long.

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The following is a transcript of a recent phone call to Gom Ba Woo:

ring ring ring!

<woman answers phone>

"hb jgsgq mwngjo bcv a nnbnbpbgm pp a ghhao hgaa"

<speaking slowly and clearly...>

"Hi, I'd like to make a carryout order, please."

<several seconds of silence>

"j;sljn;lan;ln ;l a;ln ;lnb;a b;a s;dbfgn; abn a;sehb;gha;sdflgkn;alsk Korean restuarnt"

<a last-ditch effort...>

"kimchi jae-yuk bokkum"

"Ah!! Okay! Thank you!"

"Thank you! Bye!"

"Bye!"

Pretty much the same thing happened last night at Gamasot, except it wasn't on the telephone. Our server brought out an iron pot with the caked-on rice clinging to the bottom, then poured what I think was the same smokey, stick-tasting tea we were drinking into the pot - then stirred it around a little bit.

All attempts at trying to find out what it was, and what we were supposed to do with it, failed. After about a minute, we finally figured out we weren't supposed to drink it. Then, about five minutes later, she came back and spooned some into two bowls, and put it in front of us. Another sixty seconds of futile conversation, after which everyone ended up laughing. Spoon? Hands? Now? Later? As I type this, I'm still not sure, but I AM sure that this was pretty much how you clean a pot of baked-on rice, except that they used tea instead of water, and that it tasted like a little bit of rice with tea poured over it.

We already had rice, and we already had tea, so what was this? Palate cleanser? After dinner drink? Regardless, it was a lovely gesture and much appreciated, but to this minute, I remain ...

Stumped,

Rocks.

P.S. Gamasot remains strong at what it does well - soups, stews, and stir-fry - and weak at what it doesn't: BBQ. I also wish they had several choices of salt to accompany their sul leung tang, rather than one big bowl with large crystals (I won't say it) mixed in with the plain white salt.

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I've had this at Korean restaurants before. I think it may have been at our Lighthouse outing? You basically get a sort of toasted/charred rice taste, and it seems to simulate the ending of dulsot bibimbap. Not really a palate cleanser, but maybe more of a clean your bowl sort of thing. This site talks about it, and it's apparently called nudungji.

Most Chinese kids, if not most Asian kids, get told when they're growing up to finish every single grain of rice in their bowl or they'll get pockmarks for each grain they leave behind.

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Pretty much the same thing happened last night at Gamasot, except it wasn't on the telephone. Our server brought out an iron pot with the caked-on rice clinging to the bottom, then poured what I think was the same smokey, stick-tasting tea we were drinking into the pot - then stirred it around a little bit.

All attempts at trying to find out what it was, and what we were supposed to do with it, failed. After about a minute, we finally figured out we weren't supposed to drink it. Then, about five minutes later, she came back and spooned some into two bowls, and put it in front of us. Another sixty seconds of futile conversation, after which everyone ended up laughing. Spoon? Hands? Now? Later? As I type this, I'm still not sure, but I AM sure that this was pretty much how you clean a pot of baked-on rice, except that they used tea instead of water, and that it tasted like a little bit of rice with tea poured over it.

We already had rice, and we already had tea, so what was this? Palate cleanser? After dinner drink? Regardless, it was a lovely gesture and much appreciated, but to this minute, I remain ...

Stumped,

Rocks.

P.S. Gamasot remains strong at what it does well - soups, stews, and stir-fry - and weak at what it doesn't: BBQ. I also wish they had several choices of salt to accompany their sul leung tang, rather than one big bowl with large crystals (I won't say it) mixed in with the plain white salt.

What you had in korean is called NuRungGi. It is the burnt/toasted crust that forms at the bottom of a rice pot. As a very young kid, I remember my grandmother giving me this with a sprinkling of sugar. Crunchy and sweet. Some resturants (viet Gol and others) that cook rice in stone and iron pots, will take the NurungGi and pour tea or water on it. Let it sit, and you get basically a nutty flovered "rice soup". I love the stuff. I believe other cultures (e.g., persians and portugease) value the rice crust that form when cooking as well.

with the advent of of the rice cooker, people eating the crust has really diminished (no crust form in rice cookers).

At the resturant when they do this for you, wait 5 minutes. Then stir to loosen rice from the pot. Spoon into a small serving bowl (rice and the liquid), add some kimchi or other panchan to flavor (if you want) and eat. Good stuff.

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Our server brought out an iron pot with the caked-on rice clinging to the bottom, then poured what I think was the same smokey, stick-tasting tea we were drinking into the pot - then stirred it around a little bit.
The tea is bori-cha or barley tea, traditionally served during the Winter. You get corn tea during the warm months.

We already had rice, and we already had tea, so what was this? Palate cleanser? After dinner drink? Regardless, it was a lovely gesture and much appreciated, but to this minute, I remain ...

Stumped,

Rocks.

As others have said, you scrape the crisp rice from the bottom of the pot and eat it like porridge. (It's not one of my favorites, but Grover really likes it).

P.S. Gamasot remains strong at what it does well - soups, stews, and stir-fry - and weak at what it doesn't: BBQ. I also wish they had several choices of salt to accompany their sul leung tang, rather than one big bowl with large crystals (I won't say it) mixed in with the plain white salt.
The large crystal salt is sea salt which hasn't been overly refined, the smaller "plain white salt" is more refined sea salt. If you visit Super-H or some other Korean market, you will see a large number of bags of salt that range from what looks like powder to salt that resembles rock salt. Large crystal sea-salt is generally on the table because it's the cheapest to buy (generally) and restaurants like to maximize profits and refined salt tends to cost more. Gamasot has the absolute best seulontang anywhere around. It's my favorite comfort food and there are times we eat at Gamasot three times a week (but I definitely recommend the Galbi Tang, it's great as well).
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Don, I would say the pupose of Nurungi is either palate cleanser or after dinner drink.

It is not served for the part of main meal because it is a byproduct when the steamed rice is made.

On a traditional Korean table, water is served at the last moment even though there was no clear serving order. If the host or hostess prefers Nurungi, it is served instead. Another thing, always a spoon is used for eating rice or soup for Korean meal. There are some different usage about spoon and chopsticks between China, Korea and Japan. I will talk about it later.

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A question for our veteran Gamasot visitors. I was there over the weekend and saw some signs in Korean that I think were talking about New Year's Day (there was a 1 and then another 1...that's some Batman-like deduction there). Does anyone know if they are doing something special? My first guess would be dduk gook and the like, but I always thought that was just for Lunar New Year. Of course, the sign could have just been saying they were closed, but it was a lot of text to say that.

Also, the seol lang tang is still so good.

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A question for our veteran Gamasot visitors. I was there over the weekend and saw some signs in Korean that I think were talking about New Year's Day (there was a 1 and then another 1...that's some Batman-like deduction there). Does anyone know if they are doing something special? My first guess would be dduk gook and the like, but I always thought that was just for Lunar New Year. Of course, the sign could have just been saying they were closed, but it was a lot of text to say that.

Also, the seol lang tang is still so good.

the sign says that they are serving free duk gook from 11am to ??? Sorry can't remember when the freebies ended. However, if circumstances have not changed since new years day 2007, per Grover's post above, it will end at 2:30pm.

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the sign says that they are serving free duk gook from 11am to ??? Sorry can't remember when the freebies ended. However, if circumstances have not changed since new years day 2007, per Grover's post above, it will end at 2:30pm.

Well, then, might have to go and get free soup. I kinda like living 5 minutes from Gamasot...

ETA: Oh, and sorry for not looking farther afield in this topic. Guess I didn't think the thread was that old. Now I know to check dates, and knowing is half the battle.

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Apologies for the double post...but this is a new question.

I'm feeling a bit under the weather, and I was wondering if anyone has ever tried the samgyetang at Gamasot. I'm pretty sure I saw it on their menu, but I didn't know if a place specializing in seollangtang was any good at the ultimate chicken soup.

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Apologies for the double post...but this is a new question.

I'm feeling a bit under the weather, and I was wondering if anyone has ever tried the samgyetang at Gamasot. I'm pretty sure I saw it on their menu, but I didn't know if a place specializing in seollangtang was any good at the ultimate chicken soup.

As a matter of fact, we went to Gamasot last night because I was feeling under the weather but it was Jim who got the Sam gye tang. It's a whole cornish hen, cooked, sitting in large bowl with some light broth. The chicken was delicious! The broth reminded me of a very very mild chicken stock. Jim pretty much picked the bird clean (well as clean as one can get with fingers and chopsticks) and finished more than half the broth.

I had the seollangtang or as I called it last night, Korean Penicillin. And yes, I feel better today :(

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So, is Gamasot in that same shopping center? If they have lunch specials, what's the best thing for a newbie to order (new to Korean, that is, but I like spicy food)-my friend wants me to try a Korean restaurant out in Burke-Burke Garden (We meet regularly at Dragon Sea Buffet, eat lots of food, stay WAY too long, but they're very nice to us). My husband went to HS in Seoul, I've never had Korean food, but I can't wait to try it...

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So, is Gamasot in that same shopping center? If they have lunch specials, what's the best thing for a newbie to order (new to Korean, that is, but I like spicy food)-my friend wants me to try a Korean restaurant out in Burke-Burke Garden (We meet regularly at Dragon Sea Buffet, eat lots of food, stay WAY too long, but they're very nice to us). My husband went to HS in Seoul, I've never had Korean food, but I can't wait to try it...
Gamasot is indeed in the same shopping center. On your right as you travel towards G Mart. Personally, I always go for the seullongtang but that's just me. The galbi-tang (beef short-rib soup) is excellent. The spicy octopus is also very good albeit a bit expensive. There is a list of about 5 lunch specials (weekdays only naturally) and it's hard to go wrong with any of them. The banchan is always the same but always good. The kimchi and radish are cut at the table. (Don, this should probably be somewhere else but I'm not sure if that would be the Gamasot thread or a generic Korean food thread. And by the way, I'm in Busan and there are more varieties of fish for sale in more variations than can be imagined).
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Was at Gamasot today. My first time. Based on such strong recommendations on this board, I had high hopes (even with the fact that soluntang is one of my least favorite korean soups).

I love the layout of the resturant. I like the open kitchen and korean tables on wooden floors. I wish more places would do this. The place was clean and bright. Didn't even mind the TV (wasn't loud).

I got the house specialty, Solung Tang. The soup was very plain (that is how it is suppose to be) and good. The noodles were not over done and there was a lot of meat. Meat had no flavor and I ended just removing it from the soup. Salt and diced scallions were provided on the table so you could season as needed. Panchan was good, nothing extraordinary. The key banchan to any soluntang place is the kimchi and it was really good. They first brought it in a large clay both then cut the two type of kimchi in fronth of you. When the kimchi juice and kimchi was added to the milky broth it was really good.

Would I go back? absolutely. I'd like to order some of their other soup dishes. All around a very good place.

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I had lunch at Gamasot w/ my friend last week & it was very good. We went at lunchtime & got the bulgogi & dakgalbi, we got about 10 dishes of panchan, rice, & seullangtang (after I added a bit of salt & green onion, I really enjoyed this). We also had a side of mandu. It was alot of food & though we ate as much as we could there, I had to take some dumplings & chicken home w/ me. The restaurant was pretty busy, I thought the kitchen behind the glass screen was very cool, & I only jumped a little when some poor guy broke his chair & everybody in the place stopped to look (I think he was probably really embarassed & left shortly after that).

Afterwards, we cruised the El Grande supermarket-I was very impressed by their fish selection. Didn't really have anything I needed to buy, so I picked up some Pocky & other Japanese snacks. I'll definitely go back w/ a list, it's a little closer to me than the Super H (which WAS super, but a little overwhelming)...

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I had lunch at Gamasot w/ my friend last week & it was very good. We went at lunchtime & got the bulgogi & dakgalbi, we got about 10 dishes of panchan, rice, & seullangtang (after I added a bit of salt & green onion, I really enjoyed this).
That's the way to eat seullantang. You can also add the rice to the broth (which is almost de rigeur). The scallions and sea salt are there for a hint of flavor. This is a comfort food as much as a staple. I can't think of anything better when you're feeling out of sorts...better than chicken soup (I can hear the howls now).

Afterwards, we cruised the El Grande supermarket-I was very impressed by their fish selection. Didn't really have anything I needed to buy, so I picked up some Pocky & other Japanese snacks. I'll definitely go back w/ a list, it's a little closer to me than the Super H (which WAS super, but a little overwhelming)...
You might continue making the trek to Super H if you want the better fruits and veggies.
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That's the way to eat seullantang. You can also add the rice to the broth (which is almost de rigeur). The scallions and sea salt are there for a hint of flavor. This is a comfort food as much as a staple. I can't think of anything better when you're feeling out of sorts...better than chicken soup (I can hear the howls now).

I guess I'm a bit gauche, then. If any restaurant gives me the option to add my own level of onions/scallions, watch out. I sometimes empty half that bowl of scallions into the soup (the same way I ask for extra onions when I get pho and order my pizzas as extra cheese, onion, onion, and onion). As for salt, I barely add any...it always tastes pretty good to me as is.

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I guess I'm a bit gauche, then. If any restaurant gives me the option to add my own level of onions/scallions, watch out. I sometimes empty half that bowl of scallions into the soup (the same way I ask for extra onions when I get pho and order my pizzas as extra cheese, onion, onion, and onion). As for salt, I barely add any...it always tastes pretty good to me as is.
The servers there will simply bring more if you ask for it..they don't seem to be surprised by anything the mee-guks do (me included)...they just smile (and in the back room, I'm sure they shake their heads and compare horror stories about the strange things we do).
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I was there on tuesday this week and had the Hae Jang gook (yae chun version is better by the way) but the version @ GMS is good. I added about a quarter of the bowl of scallions. I don't think they care that much.

Had Soon Dae gook over the weekend @ GMS and again it was solid. So far the best soup I've had at GMS but you have to like a lot of different parts of a pig.

Soup

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Well, all this talk has pretty much made my lunch selection for tomorrow easy. Now I'm in craving mode...

ETA: By the way, could someone tell me the names of all the banchan they serve. Other than kimchi and soondae, they really only exist in my mind as "that crunchy, red not-too spicy one", "the watery, sweetish one in a cup" and the like. It'd be nice to know their real names.

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Well, all this talk has pretty much made my lunch selection for tomorrow easy. Now I'm in craving mode...

ETA: By the way, could someone tell me the names of all the banchan they serve. Other than kimchi and soondae, they really only exist in my mind as "that crunchy, red not-too spicy one", "the watery, sweetish one in a cup" and the like. It'd be nice to know their real names.

I don't know the name of red spicy one, what the item in the cup is Mul kimchi (water kimchi) and Muk is the jello like substance with soy dressing.

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I don't know the name of red spicy one, what the item in the cup is Mul kimchi (water kimchi) and Muk is the jello like substance with soy dressing.

Ahh...muk. The one I have to use my spoon to eat. Every time I'm there I try to use the chopsticks, and then I drop it in my soup, my hand, on the table. I've given up on that.

Is this a good place to go for the uninitiated? My Korean dining experience is limited to one visit to Hee Been and I'd like to branch out a bit.

I think it's a pretty good place. They don't seem to mind my stumbling around. My first few times there, they sort of "taught" me how to do seullangtang (the salt, the scallions).

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FYI, I would like you to know the followings:

1. The word 'Gamasot' means a big cast iron pot. It reminds the Koreans of huge portions of soup or rice cooked in the traditional way. Therefore, the restaurant's specialty is definitely soup such as Soll Long Tang, Gal-bi Tang, Yuk Gae Jang and so on.

2. Most of famous Soll Long Tang places like Gamasot or Gam Mi Oak in NY, serve Mo-Dum Soo Yuk (it's similar to Bollito Misto). It is a byproduct of Soll Long Tang because different cow parts like brisket, knuckle bones, triple and liver are boiled together. It will be a great chance for you to enjoy Korean style Bollito Misto. There is no special sauce, the dish needs just salt and pepper.

3. The usual Korean foods such as Bulgogi or Dolsot bibimbop are also available.

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Thanks to Grover, DanielK and Ilaine for getting last night's dinner together. We had a feast -- and it was great to reconnect with old friends and meet some new faces. For me, the cold buckwheat noodles and the tofu with kimchee were the stars of the night. But I have to confess I enjoyed the blood sausage as well.

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I'd like to add my thanks to Grover, DanielK and Ilaine as well. Feast is right, we had a ton of food - if you are a kimchee lover, you missed out on this one. Was good to try the SLT soup, but I over-salted which lessened my enjoyment.

Out of all the Korean dishes I've had the pleasure to try with Grover at the wheel, my favorites remain from Han Sung Oak - the BBQ'd meats and the BiBim Bap. Specifically, I loved that Ribeye dish that was BBQ'd at the table, and then noodles were placed in the drippings. yummmm.

For those lurkers out there, if you ever want to try Korean food, you can't go wrong with Grover leading the way. :mellow:

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Let's see if Matt can recap the night of the Gamasot $20 Wednesday.

With thirteen (?) of us, the night began with the parade of panchan. There was kimchi, both radish and cabbage, as well as the refreshing water kimchi, mung bean jelly in a soy sauce like marinade, some really good marinated chayote, and, later, some soondae (blood sausage). All was eaten with great elan.

Then came the first of the many, many dishes from the kitchen. First up were small bowls of sulleungtang, the specialty of the house. Bone broth made after 48 hours of stewing with some rice noodles, add some salt and scallions...subtle but good. Along side that there was a pancake I believe called bin dae duk (griddled mung bean paste with scallions and shredded pork). This was really good and a revelation to me. I've always had mandoo gui as an appetizer, but I think I'd order the bin dae duk instead.

Next up was meat. Lots of meat. Mo Deum Soo Yook (assortment of steamed meat platter). I believe there was beef in the form of tongue, liver, brisket, tripe...maybe some tendon. But, I have to say, I tried a piece of each, and all were quite good, especially when dipped in the chili-garlic sauce provided.

At this point, the stomach begins to fill and the order of dishes becomes hazy to Matt. I believe next up was doo boo kim chi bokeum (tofu, kimchi, and shredded pork with vegetables in spicy sauce). This was the first of the truly spicy dishes of the night, but the tofu did help to cut it down a bit. A bit. But underneath that spiciness was some very good pork and veggies.

Next up, or rather simultaneously, was jaeng ban naeng myun (cold buckwheat noodles served with specially seasoned beef). For me, this was actually the spiciest dish of the night. I don't know if it was truly spicy or if the fact it was served cold, but it got to me. It did have good flavor, but man, it hit me.

At this point, the ultimate dish began to appear with some hotpots bubbling on an adjacent table, but first up was jae yuk gui (marinated pork). This was quite flavorful and a good contrast before the hotpots. Oh, the hotpots. Oh sam jun gol (hotpot of squid and sliced pork in spicy broth) appeared on some gas burners before us. At this point, I was quite full, but this was quite good...what little I could eat.

Finally the meal concluded with some wee little bottles of a yogurt drink. I really need to get some of these. All in all, a very enjoyable evening and a big thanks to grover for exposing me to all sorts of new tastes.

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