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Fearless Critic restaurant review
Portland
Food
Feel
Price
7.7
6.5
$30
Korean
Casual restaurant

Hours
Mon–Sat 11:00am–10:00pm
Sun noon–10:00pm

Bar Beer, wine
Credit cards Visa, MC
Reservations Not accepted

Beaverton
9955 SW Beaverton Hillsdale Hwy.
Beaverton, OR
(503) 646-7767
Koreana
Great, cheap Korean food that’s worth leaving the city for

Normally, advertisements are a negative signal for restaurant quality, but this Korean restaurant along a strip center in Beaverton advertises in the local Korean-language newspaper, which cuts the other way. Given the feeling of the streetside entrance—it’s adjacent to a row of stuccoish-and-tinted-window retail spaces that are vaguely evocative of 1960s Latin American sprawl—you might think you’re going to a mediocre orthodontist rather than a good Korean restaurant. But the inside is small, unassuming, and wood-paneled; it’s laid-back and easy, but terrible for a date.

There’s tableside BBQ, and the galbi (short ribs) are very tender and juicy, but that’s not really the focus of this menu; the bigger turn-ons are a good array of seafood soups, e.g. ah gu tang (steamed monkfish soup); soon dubu (rich, soft tofu soup with kimchi) and kkakdugi (radish-cube kimchi); and yeom so jun gol (black goat casserole with vegetables); broiled mackerel, alta mackerel, and yellow croaker. We’re always delighted to see seolleongtang (beef-bone broth with sliced beef and noodles) on the menu; it’s a milky treat underappreciated by Americans. In Oregon’s colder months, this soup is like a warm blanket for your sides.

The prices here are a steal, much lower than downtown PDX standards. Servers are friendly and helpful, willing to explain anything on the menu to newcomers (in broken English), and always ready to refill the banchan at your table. These range from salted tiny fish to spicy potatoes and kimchi to pickled bean sprouts, and are good enough to tempt you into stuffing yourself before dinner comes—beware. Since each table comes with a gas grill, tables can’t really be pushed together—come as a group of four or fewer; even with that manageable number, you might find yourself fighting over ingredients.

Koreana isn’t the best Korean we’ve found in the area, but it’s consistently good and a fair amount of fun—for this little money, how many other places can claim to offer the same?

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