With much summertime bluster about lobster rolls, fish tacos and clam bakes, it's easy to forget about other cuisines equally well built for hot weather. Korean food, for instance, can be a cooling, textural dive into crisp veggies, super-fresh seafood and grilled meat. Cold noodles (japchae), tangy pickles (such as kimchi, which comes in almost endless forms) and shatteringly crisp Korean fried chicken make for a fabulous picnic. If you prefer to indulge in some a/c, Korean barbecue, such as the grilled short ribs called kalbi, quite possibly eclipses anything you might pull off the grill at home.
Food Court Korea (947 Willis Ave., Albertson): Opened in late 2020, Food Court Korea is a barbecue joint of sorts — there's lots of marinated, grilled meat such as bulgogi (ribeye), pork belly, and kalbi — but also japchae, dumplings (mandoo) and shrimp tang soo, a deep-fried sweet-and-sour shrimp dish. Savory pancakes called pajeon can have seafood, meat, or kimchi folded into the batter, and are perfect for ripping apart with a group; and the fried chicken roster is dizzying, from wings stained bright red with gochujang to a relatively quieter soy-garlic take. The dining room is simple but comfy, and orders are taken at the counter. Come back in fall for the soups and hot-stone bibimbap. More info: 516-996-2882, foodcourtkorea.com
Ssambap Korean BBQ (2350 Nesconset Hwy., Stony Brook): Inside this soaring dining room you can linger over barbecue, banchan (the side dishes that come with it) and drinks. Ssambap are Korean-style lettuce wraps, crisp and customizable; grill kalbi, bulgogi, chicken or even seafood at the table, then wrap your smoky meats in romaine leaves with kimchi, rice and anything else within arm's reach. The less enterprising can rely on the kitchen for mool neng myun, a chilled noodle soup with tender brisket, pickled radishes and hard-boiled egg. More info: 631-675-6402, ssambapkbbq.com
Hmart (336 N. Broadway, Jericho). This isn't a restaurant, but the food court inside the super Hmart in Jericho is as fine a place as any to score Korean eats, especially when it comes to breadth. Ease in via pickled cucumbers (oi muchim) from the prepared food section as you wait for double-fried chicken (it takes about 12 minutes to prepare, so you can also shop in the meantime). Slide into home plate with some Korean-style potato salad, fish-shaped waffle cakes filled with red-bean paste (called taiyaki) and an iced coffee. More info: 516-513-5050, hmart.com