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Tuesday, January 8, 2008

Fit for a Korean king

(Photo by Eamon Siggins)

My friends Aubrey and Thomas came into town this weekend to visit from North Carolina. Thomas is a sommelier who lived in Korea for a couple of years, and we get along well because we share a passion for French white wines and Korean barbecue (not together -- in fact, often the latter as a cure for having indulged in too much of the former the night before). Having read Cliff's article last week on Hanil Kwan, we decided to take a trip to Buford to try the barbecue that Cliff foolishly passed up in favor of a lunch special.

As you can see from this photo, Thomas takes his Korean feasts seriously. We ate a lot of food, and Thomas schooled us all on "the rules" of soju, the distilled, clear liquor native to Korea. "The rules" consist of never letting anyone's glass go empty, and pouring and receiving using two hands.

Hanil Kwan serves some of the best Korean barbecue I've had in town, and service is helpful and friendly. I particularly liked the piles of salad -- Thomas described it as fresh kimchi -- that consisted of super fresh greens dressed in chili, vinegar and sesame oil.



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