Archive for 'Arirang'

Sadly, Arirang Has Shuttered

In what is easily the most personally lamentable shutter announcement that I’ve ever posted in ML, I regret to report that beloved K-town mainstay Arirang, has reportedly closed.

During the past decade of eating in K-town, Arirang has been an agent of good times – cheerful and laid back service, cheap soju and fairly priced, awesome food that made the place a bargain whether you’re a lunch time or dinner time punter. I recall drunk dinners and hungover midweek lunches of sujebi, knife cut flecks of dough, swimming in profoundly rich bowls of chicken broth and many glasses of soju. Similar fare is non-existent in NYC – one would have to travel to Queens to get something similar.

I recall being so enamored with this place, that I submitted a hackneyed love letter to Zach, thus sealing my place as a contributor to this site over 4 years ago.

In Korean culture, the provenance of the term ‘Arirang‘ – often used as an unofficial Korean national anthem – denotes certain aspects of hope and optimism. In keeping with this theme, I can only hope that the future proprietor does this space justice.

Lunch’er “Chris” Reports: Arirang’s Chicken Tastes Like Chicken

A few weeks ago Lunch’er “Chris6Sigma” was kind enough to check out the Korean Noodle Soup cart on 49th btw. 6+7th and report back.  This week he has turned his attention to Arirang in Koreatown, and sent in this report:

Arirang Entrance on 32nd St

Being ‘a chicken’ is a multilateral term, but is usually used in negative connotations. e.g. “The French were a bunch of surrender monkey chickens during WWII” or “What are you McFly… a chicken?” Similarly, ‘tasting like chicken’ is a phrase reserved for bland and unimaginative cuts of protein.

At Arirang (on 32nd btw. B’way+5th) the chicken… tastes like chicken. Americans have gotten so used to battering and deep frying their birds, smothering them with sauces, gravy and a heavy hand of spice, we’ve forgotten what chicken actually tastes like. In the process of commoditization and modernization, the once noble fowl has become so bland that it’s an unspoken requirement that a chicken be heavily seasoned or sauced to make it palatable.

However, the chicken soups at Arirang taste cleanly and boldly of chicken. Sheer poultry flavor, savory, fragrant, familiar, and yet exotic for those who grew up eating skinless boneless chicken breasts deep fried or smothered in mushroom gravy or some other Midwestern concoction.

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