I couldn't think of a better title because all the red sign says is "Korean Restaurant." I was craving Korean so I wandered over towards Royal and 35 looking for something to call out my name. This place is at the NE corner of Royal and Harry Hines, and was a great find.
I should begin by mentioning that I'm no Korean cuisine expert, but i know good food. The lunch menu consisted of soups, stews and a few "BBQ" options. I glanced over the menu and the waitress came to take my order. I tried to communicate that I needed more time, but the language barrier held strong, so I panicked and went with what I knew, kim chee stew. About 10 minutes later I was presented with my bubbling, stone pot entombed stew flanked by 8 traditional side dishes and a bowl of rice tinted with a few grains of purple rice. My stew was in three "phases," so to speak. First, there's the broth phase. This was rich with spice, hot (but not flaming hot) and very well balanced. It had a great acidity which was mellowed out by the richness of the pork unmentionables that lent their goodness to the broth. There was the aroma of fish sauce as a sort of overtone, that gave the stew a wonderful savoriness without any, oh, you know, fish saucy-ness. The second phase is the veggie phase. This consisted mostly of the kim chee, but also a bit of seaweed, that lent to the aforementioned savoriness. The final phase is the protein phase. While I prefer a firmer tofu in general, this tofu was firm enough to hold up to the soup and to caucasian chopstick skills. There were also some bits of pork included. I'm not really sure if it was belly or something more, oh, internal. I'm really hoping I wasn't eating chunks of bacon that large though.
I was a little surprised to recieve the full compliment of side dishes considering the fact i was dining solo. There were none that disappointed. The standouts to me were a clear starch noodle dressed with sesame oil, radish pickles, sesame tinted soy sprouts and some sort of candied root. (the texture was yucca like, but I don't know what it was). They were all great though. The rice won't win any awards, but it did its job.
For 6.50 after tax this was a good deal and an incredible meal. I'm curious about other's korean experiences around here. Any secrets?
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