[review][Cloud USA] J.Y. Park’s Kristalbelli Restaurant is a must-see, must-eat.
— Cloud cover by: Stephe Thornton, Managing Editor ^@@^
CloudUSA community member Sarah Latimer, located in Pennsylvania, visited the Big Apple recently and located Park JinYoung‘s new restaurant Kristalbelli, which boasts a full range of authentic, robust Korean flavors while also highlighting the delicate aspects of Korean cooking.
The upscale Kristalbelli opened in March of this year and, from the sound of the articles in the media (this New York Times review is only one of many), it is an elegant testament to its owner’s taste. The special convex 99.9% crystal grills in each table, for cooking fresh food better, faster, and without toxins, were designed by JYP himself. Personally, when I read that Chef David Shim had also cooked at L’Atelier de Joel Robuchon, that sold me. And so, between Shim and the grills, I am of a mind that this restaurant should be on your must-eat list. Bulgogi Dupbap, here I come.
For Sarah (for now), it is a definite must-see. Do enjoy her current review.
— Stephe @cloudusa.wordpress.com / CloudUSA.org
The Next Korean Barbecue Restaurant in NYC, KRISTALBELLI. (Credit: KRISTALBELLI @YT)
[review][walk-through] JYP’s Kristalbelli Restaurant on June 16
By: Sarah @CloudUSA, 6/16/2012, Saturday
Images: Sarah @CloudUSA
After arriving in New York City, my friend and I decided to find Kristalbelli since it was only a few blocks away, so I could at least get a picture of the entrance.
We walked right by it a few times, expecting there to be a larger sign above the door. As you can see from the picture, the name is written in a very unassuming and elegant way on the sophisticated wooden door. The exterior of the building is very pretty, but also unassuming. While getting ready to take my picture and be on my way, a server came out and invited us to come in and check the place out. After snapping a quick picture, we went in to satisfy my curiosity.
You would never know such a beautiful interior waited on the other side of such an understated exterior. The first glimpse was truly breathtaking.
After telling the manager/host at the front about being a fan of JYP and Rain, he graciously gave me permission to take pictures while looking around. He told me that JYP had been in only last week and was to return at some point next month, although he was not at liberty to tell me when.
As for the interior, each table has a beautiful marble top with a grill in the center. The grill is a Buddha-like figure in gold with a lid covering the grilling surface as his belly. When the lid is removed, it reveals what I believe to be the meaning behind the restaurant’s name. Each grilling surface is a large convex crystal disc sitting on top of the heat source.
The surroundings are very elegant and beautiful, but your attention is automatically drawn to the tables themselves.
The extremely nice server led us upstairs to the bar and lounge, which continued the exquisite upscale theme with gold and silver seating as well as another dining area. They also have an area where you can try out the headphones that JYP designed himself. Unfortunately we were unable to dine there as this was between daily dining hours and we had other people to meet up with, so I cannot give any information on how the food tastes, but I have no doubt that the attention given to the surroundings and the choosing of exceptional staff would also be given to the dishes themselves.
The staff’s ability to make me feel so welcome as an out-of-place southern girl in an upscale restaurant, and show us around while not even open yet, amazed me and makes me want to return to try their food. The lunch items are very reasonably priced, especially for an upscale restaurant in NYC, and include simple traditional foods such as Bibimbap and Kimchi Jjigae. Dinner is a little out of my price range but more in the range of what is to be expected from that type of establishment in that area. (I am sorry my pictures do not do justice to the establishment!)
If you are in NYC, this place is a must-see and is very close to Penn Station, making it easy to get to from just about anywhere in the city. It is located on 8 West 36th Street between 5th and 6th Avenue. It is on your left if you’re coming from 5th Avenue.
Thanks for letting me share my little adventure with all of you.
— Sarah (aka Carspyder)
(Images credit: Kristalbelli.com / David Shim, JYP, Joon Kim)