Shared-plate dining with a group of friends sounds great—in theory. But when everything arrives (usually all at once), so do the issues. How do you split a tiny portion of ramen? Why is that side of the table hogging all the deviled eggs? And how can your overworked taste buds truly appreciate a delicate uni risotto after spicy duck wings?
I’m not the first to find fault with the idea of shared small plates (see Pete Wells’ recent article besmirching the trend in the New York Times). With that said, I still dream of that perfectly boisterous collective meal: the endless conversation, the clinking of glasses, and, most important, the sharing of memorable food.
A recent visit to Funny Plus, a Korean bar and restaurant in Aurora, finally made that fantasy a reality. Outside, the English sign reads “Hof”—the Korean designation for a place serving drinks with food. And that’s exactly what Funny Plus is: a bar with some of the most shareable (and delicious) eats around.
On the Saturday night I visited, it was impossible not to get swept up by the good-time vibe. The pulsing Korean pop, sizzle of in-table grills, and free-flowing soju (a Korean grain alcohol with a smooth, vodkalike flavor) were downright festive.
After we ordered, a flood of banchan (Korean side dishes) began to crowd the table: mild kimchi; sweet white radish pickles; crisp, sesame oil–slicked bean sprouts; and more. But when the showstopping platter of golden fried chicken arrived, all conversation ceased.
The juicy, crunchy-skinned chicken (enough to feed four) was so rich and full of flavor it didn’t need its sweet-spicy dipping sauce. Between sips of soju, we grabbed piece after piece and marveled at the crackly crust. As the massive pile dwindled, we pushed away from the table full and happy. Finally—shared plates done right. 2779 S. Parker Road, Aurora, 303-745-3477
Original Fried Chicken – $14.99
Buldak (Spicy Fire Chicken) – $15.99
Corn Cheese – $6.99
Beef Bulgogi – $19.99
Chamisul Fresh Soju – $9.95