Foodies may consider it anathema to make any sort of ethnic cuisine accessible to the less adventurous, but when the results are as balanced and satisfying as they are at BeWon, such things are easily overlooked. The go-deung-uh, broiled, salt-encrusted mackerel, is a fine example. The dish maintains the natural briny flavor of the fish without the heavy gloss of rendered fish fat that might be encountered elsewhere, and the charred bits along the edges are a smoky treat. The Korean marinated-beef-and-onions staple bulgogi is perfectly seasoned with a slightly sweet sauce that is a fine foil for the salty, briny and funky bits found in the array of dried and pickled side dishes (banchan) that come with the meals here. Other Korean restaurants in town may serve dishes that are more salty, or spicy, or fermented, or whatever criteria the authenticity police are using as a metric, but it’s doubtful their spaces are as elegant or their servers as informative.
Order this: The bulgogi.
Best deal: Any of the entrees, each of which comes with nine dishes of banchan.
I’ll pass: Right by it unless I know where to look. BeWon’s sunken-into-the-sidewalk location can be tough to find.