I paid my second visit to Chosun's last night, this time with my mom in tow, which meant we had to try to avoid the spicy stuff. This was not easy, given the nature of the cuisine.
Sant (see below) expressed reservations about Chosun, so I was paying particular attention. My initial impression held firm: a good to excellent restaurant. I was reassured in this impression by the fact that the restaurant was packed with Koreans and had the loud jovial air that comes only when people are genuinely enjoying themselves.
We had the shrimp tempura, the seafood-scallion pancake, the bul go gi (sizzling beef), and a stir-fried noodle.
The shrimp tempura was admittedly mediocre (we ordered this only because of my mom). It was greasy and heavy. Definitely not to be repeated. Everything else was excellent. Sant mentioned that the bul go gi had been swimming in liquid and was more boiled than grilled. Our dish had no liquid whatsoever: the cast iron plate was covered in a thin sheen of oil and nothing more. It sounds like Sant ran into some bad luck, which is not to excuse the kitchen in any way.
My mother thought the pancake was a little doughy -- it was a bit like clafoutis -- but I liked it very much. I could not help thinking about our discussion below concerning the rising price of Asian food, as the pancake cost a whopping $11. Given that the ingredients were maybe half a cup of rice flour, half a cup of corn starch, two or three scallions, and maybe an ounce or two of minced seafood, I thought this was a bit much. I wonder whether this kind of pricing makes economic sense. At $11 I will never order the dish again. At $4.95 or $5.95 I would probably eat it every time I came to the restaurant.
The stir-fried noodle was another sop to my mom, but I was pleasantly surprised. The noodles were translucent green been noodles, which easily overcook and become mushy. In this case they were perfectly al dente.
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