Oh ya, I have forgot to warn the pork / miso smell in MatNaSon. Yes, you are right, a lot of people likes to fry pork there, and the smell of it tend to get overwhelming. I always leave the coat in my car before entering the restaurant.
I have been to WooRaeOok just a couple of years ago, they served many banchans and they tasted quite alrite, however, ChoSunOk serves better foods IMO. Of all food places Ive mentioned, only MatNaSon has such smell, the others don't.
If you are the kind of person who can just live on the banchan, you are better off going to ChoSunOk. These days they serve marinated sweet pumpkins, kimchi, pickled cabbage, pickled radish, bean-sprouts, Oden, miso-paste marinated eggplant, spinach, and a few more which I cant recall. They give you quite a lot for the price you pay.
Anways, good luck finding a restaurant of your taste.
This is Jamie, my first time posting here.
To begin with, I would like to point out that there are actually VERY FEW Korean restaurants in this city that would actually do okay in Korea instead of shutting down.
Anyways, I would like to recommend a few restaurants that IMHO, does best job with representing -real K-like- foods.
I am Korean myself, and IMHO, there aren't any GOOD K-restaurants in Christie; most of them serve foods loaded with msg, tastes very much like those 24hr delivery foods in KR. Nothing more than packaged foods. And YES, Ka-Chi and Buk-Chang-Dong too. For those of you who disagrees with me with the MSG part, sorry, you are wrong, you just got too used to the taste of it. Oh wait, to be fair, Ive never gone to the area since late 2008, so ya, maybe there are new restaurants there now that are better. I doubt it though, my friends still comes back and regret why they make the same mistake over and over again.
Now, Yonge n Finch. Fortunately, there is one K-restaurant that makes me wanna go time to time when I am too lazy to cook. The place is called Mat-Na-Son, Ive seen people talking about the place in this forum, and yes, they do quite alrite. Good portion of meal, and unlike sometimes during last year, their banchans aren't bad at all these days. However, if you ever go there, do not order from BoonSik section of the menu and never order any noodles dish. They are terrible. Other than that, I have no complainments.
Now, ignore all other K-restaurants at Yonge n Finch because they only give you bad appetite, go a little north of Cummer, and on your left, you will find a restaurant with a greenflag hanging called WonJoSoonDooBu. I dont think they have an English name for the restaurant though, so you will have to recognize the place by the greenflag. It is a hole-in-the-wall kind of place, however, their food is quite homemade, the kind of taste you would get at countrysides of Korea. They serve their rice in stonepots, and yes, they taste helluva better than normal steamrice. I would recommend their 1. seafood rice in a stonepot, 2. soysauce or hotsauce marinated crab (my japanese friends loved the soy sauce crab), 3. bean-curd dregs stew (Biji), 4. seafood pancake, and 5. Stonepot Tofu soup. Becareful with #5 though, I like it A LOT better than Buk-Chang-Dong's but some people think it tastes too homemade or mild. Their banchans are dissapointing sometimes, but in general, the place is quite good.
Now..again, ignore all other K-restaurants from there up to Yonge n Steels..None are good unfortunately. Go a bit more north of Steels and I think it's about two blocks south or Redlobster there, on your left, you will see a restaurant called Cho-Sun-Ok. This restaurant has never failed me so far, they have good variety of banchans and they are clean, service is always kind, you dont have to call and ask for banchan refills, they come and ask! IMHO this place best represents Korean eateries of THIS KIND in Toronto. The only negative part about this place is, they often have Flo-Rida or SeanKingston kind of music playing, and they definately dont go with the place. I just LOL.
There are some more K-restaurants that I like, but I won't mention them because I dont think their foods appeal to the general appetite these days. You will prolly think they taste too mild. So, three recommendations from me, 1. ChoSunOk, 2. MatNaSon, and 3. WonJo, from the best to not best.
Please note that I only go to restaurants in downtown area and North York, I would love to hear about other good places.
Hope this post helps some people finding good K-eateries!
*If anyone is ought to share info on good Japanese restaurants, that would be great. I go to Zen, Ematei, and Le Cafe Michi a lot, and very rarely to Inakaya for ankimo and beer!