Gabose means “let’s go” in Korean, and you’ll want to go to Gabose Korean & Japanese Restaurant in Lauderhill for do-it-yourself barbecue, jungol (hot pot casseroles), noodle dishes and other authentic fare. Every country has a defining dish, and in Korea it is dolsot bibimbap or mixed rice. The version here comes in the traditional hot stone bowl, which continues to cook the rice as you eat it, forming a toasted crust on the bottom. The rice is topped with vegetables, rib-eye bits and a fried egg sprinkled with sesame seeds. Everything is swirled together with gochujang (fermented red chile paste) using slender metal chopsticks.
Eun Suk Hong opened Gabose in 2000 with her husband and does the cooking. Her daughter and son-in-law, Susan and Fred Kim, run the front. The Hongs are from Wonju, just east of Seoul, and started out in South Florida 20 years ago as vegetable vendors. Fred’s parents left Seoul for Maryland, where his dad was a minister. Susan went to culinary school in New York, and makes the tofu and desserts.
Try the steamed tofu topped in a spicy sauce with crisp seaweed flakes and scallions, or start with tukpoki (also spelled dukboki), a street food snack made with doughy rice cakes, chewy fish cakes, veggies and clear yam noodles in a fiery sauce. There are two ways of cooking the marinated meats here: over a bucket of charcoal set in a hole in the table or on a flat gas grill. Thick cuts and beef short ribs are best over fire, while pork belly and thin cuts work best with gas. Cook the meat and wrap it in a lettuce leaf with denjange (miso-like dip).
Barbecue meals come with panchan, small bowls of side dishes including paechu kimchi made with Napa cabbage, mung bean jelly slabs, sautéed potato slices with chili powder, baby oyster mushrooms with jalapeño and ribbons of pickled daikon radish. Spicy slices of skate are tossed with cold buckwheat noodles, and grilled saltwater eel is glazed in a pungent semi sweet sauce. Cool the sizzle with Susan’s buttery tasting popcorn ice cream or silky tofu flan drizzled in dark brown sugar syrup.