It’s pretty hard to find a place in the midwestern United States that does Korean barbecue — the distinctive style of cooking raw meats on a hot element is something that is easy to embrace…once you’re already familiar with the process. So around here, it doesn’t have much of a following. But if you want an introduction on the idea, a good place to go would be Kaya Grill & Sushi, a Columbus spot that specializes in Korean and Japanese cooking. But the best thing to try in the restaurant has to be this unique way of eating, both for its rarity in this area and for the potential to really walk away satisfied you’ve had a great meal.
While it’s only been open a little over a year, Song’s Sushi along Airway Road east of Dayton has already drawn considerable praise as an under-appreciated new gem in the city. With a captive audience in nearby Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, the dive serves up Korean and Japanese food — and fast, to keep up with those tight lunch break routines. The rapid-fire service might lead you to think this is a no-frills place, but in reality, it’s great food served from a tight ship. This kind of efficiency is sure to impress by itself, but the food backs it up.
The growth of West Chester has meant many kinds of new restaurants have followed as population and offered an increasingly diverse array of great foods. It’s no short task to try and keep track of them all. A stalwart hole-in-the-wall in the sea of ever changing trendy names, Asiana Korean Restaurant is a relatively low key place, catering to the Asian American population of southwest Ohio with a simple joy: Korean food. The restaurant offers dishes few other places which are not so niche would bother to try, but the end result is something altogether amazing. A trip to Korea will leave you hungry for the foods that typify the land. This spot brings them to Ohio and in a good way.
A tiny little dive along the main stretch into downtown Fairborn, Ohio, Yung’s Cafe is one of the only restaurants in Dayton dedicated entirely to serving up Korean food. Run by a small transplant family and really popular with the Southeast Asian community that has found its way to Dayton, this cafe has foods that you won’t easily find in many other places. And for that, it’s a wonderful place. Well worth a visit if you’re new to the cuisine or want something that reminds you a bit of Seoul.
As one of the many refined dining destinations at The Greene in east Dayton, Choe’s Asian Gourmet is an upscale purveyor of both Chinese and Thai dishes as well as sushi and vegetarian dishes. It’s a classy little joint, the kind with a very sleek contemporary feel and where you might want to dress up a little. The people here seem to pride themselves on creating an excellent dining experience, and you certainly will find that there is plenty to appreciate here.