Hot Korean Dining

Ground-breaking restaurants beef up action at Daiso Japan Carrollton complex

Ground-breaking restaurants beef up action at Carrollton's Daiso Japan

Gen Korean
Gen Korean is one of three new restaurants opening in the Daiso Japan center in Carrollton. Photo courtesy of Gen Korean
Kung Fu Tea
Kung Fu Tea does bubble tea like no other. Photo courtesy of drinkwhat
Gen Korean
Kung Fu Tea

The same Carrollton Town Center that recently saw the debut of the Daiso Japan dollar store will also welcome a trio of ground-breaking restaurants, two of which are brand new to the Dallas area.

The center is undergoing a $7 million facelift from owner NewQuest Properties and will be anchored by a 99 Ranch Market, the second in the Dallas area after the Plano store which opened at 131 W. Spring Creek Pkwy. in 2010.

But let's get on to those exciting Asian eateries. A spokeswoman for NewQuest said these will all be open by the fall.

Gen Korean
Korean BBQ mini-chain comes from California where it has eight branches spread across the Inland Empire east of Los Angeles. Another half dozen are in the wings, including one in Nevada, the first outside California.

This Carrollton branch will be the first in Texas, and is slated to open in mid- to late-August.

Gen Korean is an all-you-can eat Korean BBQ concept where you cook the food yourself on a grill at the table, in a neon-lit atmosphere. Its lineup of raw ingredients ranges from higher end prime cut meats such as black Angus steak and American Wagyu Kobe beef belly to foodie-adventurer options such as ox intestines, both small intestine and large.

It is unapologetically meat-centric. A post on the Alhambra branch's Facebook page mockingly warns customers that, "Every day, millions of innocent plants are eaten alive. Save our oxygen, eat meat."

Online reviewers make note of the glitzy vibe, one saying, "The place really did resemble some of the dance places I had been in back in the '90s." One nice touch is the freezer case in the lobby that stocks mega-sized macarons in a variety of flavors and colors.

Kung Fu Tea
International bubble-tea chain headquartered in New York calls itself the unchallenged expert in the bubble tea business. We won't dare challenge that. Their biggest constellation of stores lies in the Northeast, with nearly two dozen branches in New York, and a half dozen in Boston. There are also two branches in Houston.

Their beverage lineup includes green tea, black tea, milk tea, bubble tea, coffee, milk and slushes in flavors from familiar such as the signature coffee to exotic such as mung bean. There's a caramel macchiato slush and an Ovaltine slush, and a special for summer, pineapple coconut slush.

Their signatures include bubble tea, passion fruit green tea, green/red WOW milk, and grapefruit green tea.

In addition to the branch opening in Carrollton, there's also one coming in the fall to Richardson, at 2067 N. Central Expwy.

Dan Sung Sa
Korean dive bar/restaurant already has one branch in Dallas' Korean district off Royal Lane and I-35, where fans like it as "a chill place" to drink and snack. It's a favored destination for groups to hit after a night at the clubs. Its colorful, busy decor and Korean pop soundtrack and videos allow you to extend the party atmosphere while you sober up over spicy food.

The menu is a raucous Asian-fusion bi-lingual feast, with photos, that includes Chinese, Korean and Japanese food. There's seafood tofu teriyaki next to a Korean-style omelet next to a Japanese pancake next to French fries, plain or topped with kimchi. There are breaded fried mozzarella sticks with celery, and a cooling dish of canned peach slices on ice. They also do their own version of Korean fried chicken.

Regulars say that you simply cannot leave without doing some soju shots — soju being Korea's most popular distilled alcohol. Dang Sang Sa's frantically busy menu of drinks includes soju cocktails, flavored with fruits such as pineapple and lemon, as well as with a bottled yogurt drink.