I went to Gangnam Sushi and Grill with a few of the Asian crew and people have been telling me good things about it.
My friend was telling me about their awesome Tofu soup so I got the mixed option and a side of Kalbi for about $20 dollars. Luckily, I have very generous friends so I even tried some of their food.
Very hearty and full of surprises. I ordered my Tofu soup the spiciest but it wasn’t really that spicy. In the tofu soup is soft tofu, shrimp, ground meat, some clams, and a nice uncooked egg that they plot right into the bowls before serving. Since the soup arrives boiling, the egg gets cooked rather fast. In general, the soup was very hearty and tastes like a typical tofu soup with a lot of red pepper paste (a Korean specialty). The friend who invited me here raves about their soup and I agree, I would say if you had to go here, get this soup because it’s unique and they do it well.
For those that don’t know, Kalbi is horizontally cut thin slices of pork ribs. Very good but it’s a pretty small plate. The meat was cooked a little bit less than what I’m used to, where the meat is slightly charred, but overall, it was pretty good quality kalbi.
Bulgogi is pretty much marinated beef. In all honesty, it is not my favorite type of Korean beef as if not cooked right, it tastes like wet, salty paper bags all scrunched up together. The bulgogi my friend had was pretty dry, just the way I like it. Nothing special if you haven’t had bulgogi before but it wasn’t something to write about.
Layer in a huge cast iron pot, my friend ordered this one and it was a beautiful presentation. I tried a little bit when he mixed it up and it sure tasted like Bibimbap! Again, nothing special, but it’s a very big portion which is a plus to me!
The sushi’s pretty average here. Apparently, there are a few Korean sushi joints that add rare thin slices of beef on top of the sushi. The specialty rolls tasted of good quality but my only complaint was the salmon roll, which I found the rice to be a little bit overcooked.
I snagged one off of a friend’s plate. I never order Sashimi in Arizona because it literally can’t compare to California. The Sashimi I find in Phoenix is either too soft (bad thaw process) or too hard (wrong cut). This time, it was too hard. The texture, which I find is the most important part of Sashimi, was like eating hard plastic.
Gangnam Sushi and Grill reminds me of a hip noodle shop in my college. As I sometimes mention, the “color” of the restaurant was black, at least going there at night. You might disagree with me, because there is a giant white, wavy wall that has LED lights on one side. However, the tables were black and the bar opposite of the white wall was of granite color. Maybe they were trying to do the whole Yin Yang deal.
Most Korean restaurants give metal chopsticks (someday I am going to find a reason for this) but this restaurant gives out wooden chopsticks. I guess since this is technically a hybrid Korean/ Sushi restaurant, that’s ok. I am always partial to black plastic chopsticks and I’ll make an argument that I would like those instead of wooden ones but this is a very minor complaint.
Service was decent and the only complaint is that I wish they filled my water cup more. The old Korean lady we had was very knowledgeable.
About $20 dollars a meal. Decently expensive but this is comparable to most Korean restaurants in Phoenix. This restaurant focuses on the fact that you will get less food the higher quality the meal is. This of course, makes sense. Raw tuna costs a lot more than cabbage. Point being, if you order a meat plate, you will get more bulgogi than kalbi at the same price. If you’re into the quality of the food, then this is a perfectly fine thing to do. For one, you’re eating high quality food, and consuming less calories.
I would say the best bang for your buck is the Bibimbap. Looks beautiful and can feed a horse.
Gangnam has an impressive array of both Korean and Sushi options. I think if I was a regular, I would never get Sushi here because it’s just so common. However, the sushi here isn’t bad, it’s the same as everywhere else.
The drinks menu is plentiful with a lot of Asian beer, wines, cocktails, and of course… soju…
Tucked away in a corner strip mall, Gangnam is a pretty nice gem. It has a mix of authentic Korean food and the sushi is alright. I don’t think I’d ever order sushi here because the Korean food is legitimate enough to eat on its own but everyone loves sushi so it’s a good move for the owners to put it there.