Fired up by a very positive Jonathan Gold review and some gorgeous blog photos, my husband and I went with a group to A-Won, a Korean-Japanese sushi joint, with designs on their hwe tup bap, a sort of sashimi salad bowl with rice. We were disappointed.
We started with some dynamite and a sashimi platter. According to the menu, you have to choose between tuna, hamachi and halibut for the sashimi platter ($30), but the waitress said we could do half and half. So half tuna, half hamachi. The dynamite came out first... I've actually never had this, and apparently it's the bastard child of sushi if tasty in its way, and this place isn't exactly a temple anyway so I thought, why not. Here's why not: toasted cat food. That's pretty much what it was like, although people kept kind of nibbling at it till the rest of the food came.
The sashimi was okay... hamachi definitely much better, nice and buttery. We should've gotten all hamachi instead of the tuna.
And as for the vaunted hwe tup bap, it arrived royally in a gigantic lacquered-look red-and-black bowl. Mixing up the contents with hot sauce was some arm-wearying labor. But something was missing... it just wasn't as flavorful as at our usual place, Odaesan (where admittedly it's $3-4 more expensive, about $18, unless you get the lunch special). I had been craving fried food so I got the tempura... possibly the worst I've ever had. The crust was like cardboard.
I have to say, I'm still kind of fascinated by the photos of the al bap, or rice with fish eggs, on the potatomato blog. There's a ton of uni on there, and I love uni. Could this place be worth another try??
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