Korean cuisine is all about the heat.
"If a soup's not bubbling, then it's not fresh," explains Fred Kim, co-owner of the fabled Korean barbecue restaurant Gabose in Lauderhill. "I've probably generated some scar tissue on my tongue. We have a high tolerance to really hot liquid. It tastes better to us."
At his 13-year-old family-owned restaurant, which is the subject of this week's review, soups are served in hot pots. Raw beef is self-cooked over scorching charcoal pits.
Gabose is among the few restaurants who permit this activity indoors. And there's a reason why they're so scarce.
"It's pretty hard to obtain the permit. It's really expensive. You need hoods, permits, and insurance. That's a major deterrent," he explains.
Other Korean barbecue restaurants settle for gas or electric grills. But before you deride them, know this: the same thing happens overseas. "In Korea, there's lots of propane, too. But in the United States it's much more common," he says.
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The restaurant also distinguishes itself by making everything from scratch -- even the kimchi. Their dedication pays off. On most nights, Gabose is packed with customers.
So do they have plans to open in Miami-Dade county? "It's something we've been considering for a while, but this place has gotten busier and busier," he says. "When we're able to carry out two, we'll do it. We're looking at locations in Sunny Isles, Aventura, and North Miami."
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