Bon Chon draws raves for its addictive, spice-coated fried chicken. (Mr. Swank is a particular fan of their luncheon special, which comes with a side of fries and radish.)
But I recently recovered from a chilly bad day at Bon Chon with a very surprising dish: Tteokbokki.
Please, do yourself a favor. Next time you have a bad day, hotfoot it to Allston and order a big ole bowl of this stuff.
I saw diners at a neighboring table gobbling the stuff, and I stopped to ask them what it was. Mouths full, they told me it was a must-try. And they weren't wrong!
It's a cauldron of traditional crimson Korean spicy sauce, studded with turgid stir-fried rice cake and topped with a swirl of melted cheese and soft onion. Blink twice and you could almost mistake it for gnocchi in marinara. Ladle up the sauce with a spoon; it's that good -- a little bit sweet, a little bit spicy, and incredibly rich.
Apparently many people ask for it topped with seafood, but I think that seafood would detract from the deliciousness of the rice and the depth of the sauce.
I had leftovers for two days. Order this soul-warming dish!
(On another note, I also tried the much-ballyhooed octopus dumplings. Found them oversauced and leaden -- way too heavy for an appetizer.)