Thanks for the help and advice differentiating the menus at Yong Su San. We had a fun evening to be sure.
As adviced here we asked for a private room. I was a little put off by the linoleum bright feeling of the room and the lights were either on (way too bright) or off (pitch black). But I got used to it and soon forgot about the surroundings.
We opted for one of the more expensive menus ($43.00 per) despite all the advice I got suggesting a less expensive menu. We did this because I was very curious to try Korean style sashimi. My research explained that Korean sashimi came in bigger chunks and was to be wrapped in garlic rubbed lettuce leaves and dipped in a spicy chile sauce. This really interested me. Unfortunately when the sashimi arrived there was no lettuce or dipping sauce. But the fish was indeed chunky and genereous. Despite the quality of the fish I found myself disappointed. The fish had no real delicacy in these proportions and none of the punch of the chiles to balance all that fish. There were highlights however...
They started us out quite slowly (too slowly I thought) bringing one dish at a time. Stand outs at this stage included a pumpkin porridge type dish, Jellyfish and Asian pears, and a veggie crepe like concoction.
As the meal progressed they began to bring out food faster than I could get a grip on what they were so my memory is a little sketchy here. But the pace was fun and really in line with the experience I was expecting.
We had kimchi at least two ways one being considerably better than the other, but both far less powerful than I expected. At this point there was a wonderful garlicy fillet of beef, huge prawns, excellent short ribs and a disappointingly chewy scallop in a bright tasty sauce.
Finally I had excellent cold buckwheat noodles in broth with Asian pears and other crispy stuff. It was delicious. My companions all had slightly different noodle broths but my expanding stomach convinced me to pass on tasting their choices!
Finally for dessert there was a gingery sweet but incrediblly light cold "soup". That my Korean dining companion proclaimed to be exactly like his grandmother makes!
Earlier this same man asked me to research and choose a Korean restaraunt because he said he was "culturally challenged" regarding his roots. Well I think that was a load of s--t because once we arrived he spoke perfect Korean to all the servers, had an opinion about each and every dish and proclaimed the whole place as way too "Americanized". It was a little irritating...and I am not just saying that because he married my high school girlfriend! Afterall I am Gay. Though I cannot comment on the authenticity of the food I can say it was mostly tasty and certainly memorable.
All in all it was a very enjoyable evening. Not quite the educational experience I had hoped for but certainly a fun way to be introduced to Korean food.
Afterwards we went to The Prince Hotel around the corner and up the street for a round of fantastically retro cocktails in a terrific old school underground hipster bar!!
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