On a stretch of Northern Boulevard in Flushing that's home to some of the city's best Korean fried chicken joints sits Ga Si Ri, one of the city's top Korean BBQ spots. Unless you read Korean, you'd probably never know that it's a BBQ restaurant. We happened upon this place a while back while passing by with a friend; drawn in by the rustic exterior – complete with thatched roof and clusters of fake yams and potatoes hanging from the roof – we became instant regulars after tasting the charcoal-grilled BBQ.
Before fervid fans of Southern barbeque weigh in, let us assure you that Gothamist also loves slow-smoked American barbeque and is aware that Korean BBQ is actually grilling. As such, Korean BBQ can only be done properly over hardwood charcoal, as at Ga Si Ri. Once inside you'll notice that the rustic decor continues; each booth is decorated with a straw roof and there are more clusters of potatoes. You may be tempted to edge toward the fire exits when the waiter brings over a brazier filled with burning charcoal, but there's no need to worry about stray embers turning the place into an inferno, since Ga Si Ri uses artificial straw.
One of the best things about Ga Si Ri, besides the deep list of BBQ items, including ori ros gui, or duck, is the variety of banchan it provides. On our last visit dalgyal yachaetchim, or steamed egg was on offer. It came to the table still cooking away. Once it cooled a bit, it made for perfect cold weather comfort food. Since our dining companion wasn't feeling adventurous, we went for a tried and true classic, kal bi gooi, or boneless short ribs. These were expertly grilled by our waitress and were quite tasty wrapped up in lettuce with some garlic, jalapeños and pepper paste thrown in for good measure. We also had the jae yook boeum, or fried pork loin with spicy sauce.
Next time we go to Ga Si Ri we plan to be a bit more adventurous. It offers both Berkshire and regular pork belly grilled as well as sam kyup sal bossam, a specialty of pork belly and raw oysters. Who knows? We might even go hog wild and bring our old pal Mr. Cutlets along for the bellyfest.
Ga Si Ri, 162-04 Northern Blvd., Flushing, 718-888-9400