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Best Korean Restaurant Orange County 2011 - Kaya

Kaya

Kaya

14120 Culver Drive

Irvine, CA 92604

949-726-9424

Map & Details>>

If you were to judge a Korean restaurant by how many varieties of complimentary panchan dishes are offered, Kaya would automatically triumph. It puts out 10 in all, while most are content in providing half that. Each item tastes of motherly effort and care. Egg enriches the cooling potato salad, the chap chae wiggles, and the stewed potato cubes taste as though they were glazed in honey. We aren't even counting the complimentary crispy Korean pancake called panjeon, which could be considered the 11th panchan side dish if it weren't actually more like an appetizer you'd order freshly made and served hot. And then there are the main dishes: iron cauldrons of sputtering soft tofu soup, searing stone bowls of bibimbap, sizzling plates of luscious kalbi. Water is refilled without asking, and servers greet you warmly as you arrive and bid you farewell as you leave. In Irvine, where there are more Korean restaurants than McDonald's, these details make all the difference. $$

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