Yesterday we decided to check out a restaurant that NY Magazine recommended as one of the best in Queens: Mapo BBQ. After spending nearly an hour navigating the narrow, busy streets of Flushing (we rented a car for the holiday weekend), we finally located the Korean restaurant and found a parking spot a couple blocks away from it.
We were seated right away and ordered a couple Buds, before deciding on Mapo's specialty, grilled marinated short ribs (kalbi), and thinly sliced tenderloin. First, a waiter dropped off hot coals and a grill. Then, a few minutes later, a waitress arrived with the beef, which she set on the grill. I mistakenly thought each table was responsible for flipping the beef and started to play around with the tongs and meat, when our waitress came over, pulled out her scissors, took the tongs and showed me how it's done. I was enthralled.
As the meat cooked, other waiters brought out lettuce (to make wraps), marinated onions, kimchi bok choy and other kimchi vegetables, creamy corn, and this eggy custardy thing that you're supposed to eat with the corn (sadly, I can't remember what it's called). It was a whole heck of a lot of food that we were sure we wouldn't finish, but we did. The beef was super tender and--in a word--meat-licious. And the vegetables were so fresh! I'm totally going to introduce my friends to Mapo, now that it's on the map-o (ha! I could't resist.).
Actually, don't let that previous line turn you off--Mapo is definitely worth checking out, either by car or subway.