My Korean students over the last few weeks keep mentioning a little place on Northern Blvd. a block past St. Andrew Avellino going east, same side. In between all of the Kumon, piano, math, swimming, and dance lessons packed into their busy little lives, this is a spot they pop into with their parents for a quick, cheap, extremely informal meal when they don't have time for the leisure of BBQ at the bigger, more established places.
Last night my husband and I decided it was time to suss it out after my fave little fifth grader, Daniel, a ChowHound in every sense of the word, saw that I was about to have some regular shin ramyun straight from a package (doctored up of course with some fried egg, shrimp, mushrooms, scallions ect...) No, he begged us,you MUST go to this place...After drawing a crude map (fifth graders aren't big on proper directions) he told us we HAD to have the shin ramyun, kimchee raymun, mushroom kim bap, and kimchi or squid bok kum bap. We'd have to pass on the highly touted pork cutlet as it was a Lenten Friday.
What a great little place! Definitley simple, low on ambiance. Order your food in the front, pay up, proceed to the back where there were four folding tables and some scattered chairs upon which sat some cool looking Korean hipsters and young suited couples fresh off work. Serve yourself Poland Spring water or barley tea out of tiny styrofoam glasses, get your plastic cutlery and chopsticks and wait for one of the older female cooks to walk out from behind the counter with your order.
Definitley a place we'll be coming back to especially for that yummy looking HUGE pork cutlet with the shredded salad and rice. My food envy was on high and I pined for a chunk of the crispy looking pig, yet my Catholic school past kept me in check and in denial. The ramyun, served in big copper cooking vessels, came, I suspect, straight from some sort of package which was just fine with me considering I actually like those red and black styrofoam cups just fine and am willing to risk hypertension repeatedly. My husband's kimchi ramyun did have coarsely chopped 'chi scattered about, just for the record.
Kimchi bokkumbap was mash-i-da, nice and spicy and not ridiculously oily as is often the case. The kim bap was excellent, although we never really use it as a barometer in Korean joints. It's fairly hard to screw up. The prok cutlet plates with salad and big bowls of dokkbokki were very popular with the "regulars."
It's definitley going to be a regular stop for me on busy evenings especially if they have mul nangmyun in the summer months. Crazily cheap too, 17 bucks for the two of us and we definitley didn't need the bokkumbap or the kimbap.
Hard to beat.