Hot Dang! After once fruitlessly riding a bicycle across Montana seeking a decent spring roll and recently thinking that a quest for Korean cuisine in Minnesota might meet a similar fate, I found Dong Yang, whose alternate moniker could be “double happiness.” Dong Yang is a great grocery store for exploring the many varieties of kim chee, pondering the uses of kilo bags of ajinomoto, or smiling back at cute anime kids happily munching on shrimp-flavored chips. But tucked in the back is a nifty church-lady–style eatery that is a great spot to get serious Korean food. “Eat your pickles!” is the operative phrase here, since no matter what you order you get several small plates of them. The assortment varies, but includes kim chee, daikon, and watercress and spinach—which is the perfect pairing for the sweet-salty tang of grilled gal-bi short ribs marinated in kochujang (preserved red pepper paste), ginger, garlic, soy, and sugar, then served steaming on a stone-and-wood platter with bittersweet charred onions. The food is truly terrific, and you don’t have to go to Helena and back to find it.
735 45th Ave. NE, Columbia Heights, 763-571-2009