Gabose: Enjoy Top Korean Cuisine in Lauderhill
The beef tongue arrives raw and slivered, its flesh marbled with strips of fat. You cook it on a wire grate over charcoal, which burns crimson in a pit on your table. In seconds, the meat turns from pink and slick to charred and shriveled. "It's too hot," exclaims the waitress at Gabose in Lauderhill.
But this unruly fire enhances the beef's flavor. It's delicious -- rich, toasted, smoky, and fragrant with a salt-and-pepper-infused sesame oil.
Gabose is among the few Korean restaurants in South Florida that allow guests to cook with charcoal indoors. Other spots, such as Sushi Cafe & Shilla Korean Restaurant in Miami, supply customers with electric and gas grills. And that is just nowhere near as fun.
Surrounding the tabletop fire pit, there's a second attraction: more than ten white bowls containing "banchan." These are appetizers, condiments, and side dishes. Each dish holds something different: fiery potatoes, marinated seaweed, fish cakes, stir-fried mushrooms, or a variety of pickles -- cucumber, turnip, and cabbage. Some are sloshed in a nose-tickling chili paste. Others taste like a funky brine, bursting with ginger, spice, and garlic.
You stack hunks of barbecued beef in lettuce leaves and layer them with banchan selections like fermented soybean paste, chili paste, or kimchi -- a spicy, pickled green cabbage that's also Korea's national dish. In this unassuming sandwich, textures and flavors collide. Cold, preserved vegetables meld with warm, succulent meat.
It practically embodies the spirit of Korean cuisine, a cookery obsessed with freshness, temperature, and conservation. Its methods are rooted in necessity. In Seoul, summers are temperate and lush, but winters are frigid and severe. Finishing a dish at the table ensures warmth. Pickling allows fresh vegetables to be available year-round.