Koreana: Delicious Food, Friendly Service

Koreana serves up delicious Korean food with genuine hospitality, time and again. That’s why my husband and I are repeat customers, dining at Koreana an average of two to three times a month.

The owner is friendly and gracious, and will gladly give suggestions on what to order — which is helpful when trying Korean food for the first time. For first-time diners, he frequently suggests that each member of the party order something different and share with the others.

Dinner at Korea Na, ToledoThere’s something on the menu for just about everyone. For those with a low tolerance for spicy heat, bulgogi (marinated beef), chap chae (thin noodles with beef), or jajang myun (noodles and pork with black bean paste) may be a great introduction. Tang-su-yuk is essentially the Korean version of sweet and sour pork, but with more of a distinctly tangy sourness than the sickly sweetness of American-Chinese sweet and sour.

For the slightly more adventurous, there’s dolsot bibim bap (beef, vegetables and egg with rice in a stone bowl) — or, for those with a penchant for sinus-clearing spice, the kimchee chigae (fermented cabbage soup), o-jing-a bokeum (spicy stir-fried squid), or any of a number of savory and spicy soups involving various meats and vegetables.

Each meal is served with several side dishes, some of which look unfamiliar to the average American diner. Try them all at least once; my favorites are the fish cakes and the black beans. A word to the wise, though: the red ones (kimchee) are indeed spicy.

Plenty of the soups and other entrees are appropriate for those who, like myself, are watching their girlish figure. Bad news for the vegetarians, though: the vegetarian selections are basically nonexistent.

The only other minor complaints I have about Koreana, as a frequent patron, are the sometimes-odd musical selections (from easy listening to classical) and the slowness of receiving the final bill. Those are minuscule issues, though, compared to the consistently delicious meals we’ve enjoyed there, especially over the past year. The owner’s handcrafted woodwork continues to beautify the restaurant, adding charm to what was once a small, plain restaurant next to a strip bar. His wife’s cooking is always extraordinary. And we will keep coming back for more.

Shrimp shumai
(The Toledo City Paper is currently running a coupon for a free appetizer at Koreana! Try the shrimp shumai.)

Korea Na on Urbanspoon

But don’t just take my word for it:

Enjoying Toledo: Korea Na or Koreana (1/24/2010)
Toledo Blade: Restaurant review: Korea Na **** (7/9/2009)