Recently I was helping Luis photograph our friend’s sisters wedding. Since they are family friends we were invited to join in on the dinner. The girl I sat next to, named Melanie, just happened to have recently move to NJ from the South, and coincidentally she also happens to live in my townhouse community, only about a 4 minute walk away! So we exchanged numbers and have kept in touch via text message.
Luis was going to Ohio for some meetings this past week so I checked in with her and we decided to have dinner together. I have eaten at a lot of places in the area so I left it open to her to suggest something. I was pleasantly surprised when she asked if I liked Korean BBQ! She mentioned she found this place, So Moon Nan Jip in Palisades park on the web.
After having an underwhelming experience the last time I ate at Dong Bang Grill in Fort Lee I was skeptical about trying another Korean BBQ place in NJ, since I already know that I LOVE and can count on New Wonjo in K-town in the city (which by the way, I must write about sometime!).
First, I checked out their website and I was impressed by the nice design and great photography. Next I checked in with my Korean friend Sung to see if he was familiar with it. He said it is legit and old school, that it has been around for a while. I trust his taste so I was def down to check it out.
Sung told me that it is better for it’s Korean BBQ than for the other food offerings they have there. I can not speak to this as we were only going for Korean BBQ anyway, but just wanted to call it out.
When you get there it is a little confusing as to where the entrance is, you could very easily walk into the Karaoke place that is attached. The place is large so we had no issue being seated, even though they were quite busy, which is a good sign.
As you may know by now, I am not a big drinker, but I do like Korean Plum Wine, so we shared a bottle. It was pretty overpriced though at $18! I normally get it for about $13 at New Wonjo
We ordered the Bulgogi (marinated sirloin) and Jaeyuk Gui (sliced pork in spicy sauce, of course me being a terrible Jew my favorite protein is pork haha).
They quickly brought out the usual sides, everything was fresh and tasty. I enjoyed the eggplant side, I have never had it before. I even liked the bean sprouts, which I normally hate!. I obviously asked for lots of jalapeños. I was a little disappointed that they didn’t have the pickled ones. I feel like I have received more variety of side offerings at other places, but we were still happy and satisfied with the tasty offerings we got.
Then they brought out the fiery red heat source for our tables BBQ and soon after the meat.
As usual the waitress cooked and prepared the meat for us. I guess being the only white people in the restaurant she thought she needed to give us directions on how to eat it haha. I didn’t want to be rude and inform her it was neither of our first time at the Korean BBQ rodeo! She made a little aluminum foil cup and roasted some garlic in it for us which was really tasty. I also love that they use metal chop sticks. They are more difficult to use for me honestly, but I like that they are reused.
Two issues I had. It seemed as if we were at the only table in the restaurant that did not have a working exhaust, so poor Melanie had smoke flying into her face for most of the meal 😦 Even though we asked the management to check it out, and you could tell they noticed the exhaust was not working, they were not sensitive or accommodating about it at all. They pretty much didn’t respond at all/ignored us and walked away. Second, although the Bulgogi was very delicious, it was also very over cooked since the waitress walked away for too long. Not pictured here though is the spicy pork, which was cooked perfectly and was absolutely delicious. Next time I go here I am only ordering the pork for sure.
I am used to getting cut up fruit as dessert after Korean BBQ, but here they serve you a little bottle of yogurt drink. So cute! I love these so I was satisfied and happy to get one. I just find the name of the drink interesting – Biofeel? lol
So Moon Nan Jip is located at 238 Broad Ave in Palisades Park, NJ. You can reach them by phone at 201-944-3998, or visit their website for more information – http://www.somoonnanjip.net/#home. I am happy to now know that I can get delicious Korean BBQ so close to home!