I always say to myself after a meal here, why don't I go more often and I never have a sensible answer. Today, I was feeling a little in need of comfort food so I went. I had a bowl of #4 ordered "spicy spicy" and a hot sake and felt restored and renewed (and a little full and smelling of garlic) after.
Water Kimchee- incredible stuff. I drink the soup, I don't know if this is culturally correct or not but I love it. It is sour, sweet from the cabbage and raddish that is fermented in it and it has a delighful lactic acid fizz from the fermentation itself.
Cukes in hot pepper. My favorite of all the banchan and maybe my favorite example. I finished the bowl before the waitress could even finish putting out the banchan, rice and pouring the barley water over the rice crust so she brought me another bowl.
The radish in soy with garlic slices. Again, perhaps the best version of this I know of. A few slivers of green pepper, a few thin slices of garlic, the radish with either a natural sweetness or something they do to it. Their version is much less soy dominated than others.
Kimchee - theirs is very fermented and less crunchy that I usually like and it has an oyster biuried in it and that made for a nice fishiness to it. Not my favorite kimchee but nice none the less
The Soon Doo Bu
A sizzling bowl of red broth full of kimchee and beef. I wish they offered a pork and kimchee version, but I don't think so. I crack the egg and add it to the far edge of the bowl and let it sit undisturbed for a few minutes as I slurp at the broth from the near edge. Due to some now repressed but I am sure horrible childhood disaster involving raw chicken egg yolk too horrible to contemplate... well I digress, I simply cannot stand runny chicken egg yolk. At my local greasy spoon diner when ordering corn beef has and eggs for breakfast, I tell then over well, break the yolk, cook it till crispy and then cook it some more to get what I want. I can down a dozen pieces of uni sushi each with a quivering raw quail egg yolk without a second thought, but if there is one drop of chicken egg yolk left runny.... well you don't want to know. So I leave the egg yolk for a minute or two and then give the soup exactly one stir to bury the offensive little think under a blanket of kimchee and tofu sizzle. Then I dog in to the soup/stew in earnest, taking spoonfuls of rice and filling the spoon with broth and then taking a few bites full of meat and tofu in the next spoon. About halfway thru the orgy of spicy red elixir, the ball of yolk, now just at the first acceptable point between runny and hard boiled appears and I can safely eat it without fear of embarrassing my self. By the end I have dumped the rice in the stew and end up scraping the bowl clean.
The rice crust with Barley Water
My Korean friends all tell me this is a comfort food thing. I don't expect them to like Kishka and they probably don't expect me to get this either. Tastes like tea with a burnt match in it to me.
I usually ask for my Soon Du Boo spicy spicy spicy spicy and today I forgot. It wasn't as hot as I like, but it still did the trick. $18.00 which means the hot sake was ripoff priced. next time I will drink water. $22 with tip. Superb and the service was sooooo nice and attentive.
Why don't I go there more often?!?!?!?