I recently lunched at Buttumak (부뚜막), a Northern Blvd spot in the Murray Hill section of Flushing that has replaced the same owner’s late, unlamented, strangely named Korean-Chinese restaurant, 짜장.com. Not that there was anything particularly bad about 짜장.com – they produced fine renditions of Korean Chinese standards (what Koreans call Chinese food) – but Buttumak has so much more going for it.
짜장.com’s generic room has been transformed into an attractive space replete with dark-toned tables and benches and seating areas separated by traditional-style dividers, paper screens, and hanging roll-up bamboo shades.
My friend and I shared a cheesy dak galbi (닭갈비), a stir fry of chicken, sweet potatoes, vegetables, rice cakes, perilla leaves, and spicy sauce that, like many Korean dishes, is brought to your table raw, in a large skillet, where it cooks down into a delicious, gooey mass over a portable gas burner. The cheese is optional, but I recommend asking for it. Like many Korean dishes, the portions are huge and priced accordingly – the dak galbi is $28.95.