Lazy dad recommends…
The best eats are those that you discover by accident. When the boy was a wee baby, we stumbled across an unassuming hole-in-the-wall in a Parsippany strip mall. It has since become a lazy family staple for weekend lunches and a destination dinner whenever out-of-town guests want to eat authentic Korean food.
The boy has essentially grown up eating there, and he especially likes the excellent homemade banchan (the small vegetable side dishes that come with your meal). If you want your kids to eat veggies, let them eat kimchi and spicy pickled cucumbers before their first birthdays. Trust me, it works. To this day, the boy loves the stuff.
As much as I’d like to recommend our favorite Korean restaurant by name, I actually don’t know what it’s called. We call it the “Korean Diner,” but its real name is something in Korean with the subtitle “Korean & Japanese Restaurant,” which is weird because we’ve never seen or eaten any Japanese food there.
It’s run by a terrifically nice Korean lady who bought the restaurant from a former movie star who started the restaurant years ago. The meticulous wait staff appear to be Hispanic, but they all speak Korean. The menu is limited (meaning perfectly concise) and written mostly in Korean, so photographs on the wall provide some clues and context to what you might be ordering.
If you go, I recommend the tofu stew (the house specialty), which comes in heat levels that range from mild (read: bland) to very spicy (which is fiery and delicious, if you’re into that sort of thing). I’m partial to miso tofu stew spicy, while busy daddy is partial to kimchi tofu stew very spicy. The boy likes the vegetable noodle soup, which features, strangely enough, only a few vegetables, but includes assorted tofu and fish cakes, as well as a rich salty broth that tastes pleasingly like the ocean.
It’s the kind of yummy comfort food that your mom would make, if your mom happens to be Korean and an excellent cook. If that’s the case, then I’m jealous. If not, this is your place to have some excellent lazy eats.