Last weekend was my birthday, and Carol offered to take me out to dinner any place I wanted to go. So I thought about a bunch of my favorite restaurants, like the Grand Café, and Saffron, and Namaste Café and Ngon and Peninsula Malaysian Cuisine, and decided that I wasn’t in the mood for any of them – I wanted to go someplace I hadn’t been recently. I thought about North Coast in Wayzata, which has just brought back its $35 four-course prix fixe menu, but I didn’t feel like driving that far, or having anything that elaborate. And Atlas Grill was out – they’re closed on weekends.
So Carol tried to make reservations for Meritage in downtown Saint Paul, and couldn’t – they were completely booked for Saturday night, or at least until 9:30 p.m. or so. Good for them.
Then it hit me that what I was really in the mood for was some Korean cuisine, like kalbi, broiled beef ribs. We almost never go to Korean restaurants, because Carol isn’t a big fan of Korean cuisine, but since it was my birthday, and Carol said she wanted to take me anywhere I wanted to go, I picked King’s Korean Restaurant in Fridley.
King’s Fine Korean Cuisine, 1051 East Moore Lake Rd.,Fridley, 763-571-7256
It turned out to be a great choice. My ribs were delicious – juicy and chewy (but not tough), seasoned with that distinctive Korean combination of sweet and salty and soy and sesame, and accompanied by my favorite part of a Korean dinner, panchan – the little side dishes that can range from marinated seaweed to cabbage kim chee to fishcakes or bean sprouts in sesame oil. Carol wasn’t quite excited with her spicy seafood soup (ordered “not too spicy”), served brimming with octopus and mussels and noodles; but we both loved the seafood pancake appetizer, made with shrimp and octopus and green onions.