We have exactly one Korean restaurant here in New Wye, and it is not even in our town — it’s actually in Neighboring Town, in a tacky strip mall full of thrift stores and discount-hoochie-fashion emporia. Nonetheless, the place is damned good. Once you get past the fact that the decor consists of, apparently, whatever random items were left behind by the previous tenants (including but not limited to fake silk roses with plastic dewdroplets on the petals, plastic angel wall sconces, and that dark brown fake wood paneling you used to see inside arcade pizza parlors in the early 1980s), you can begin to perceive its awesomeness.
I think their plan is to cater mainly to the small-but-growing Korean population in the area: all of the signage is in Korean, except for the small text on the storefront underneath the large Korean characters, which informs passersby simply that this is “Korean Restaurant.” The menu is mostly in Korean, with only a few important key words translated into English — basically you can pick a protein, but you might not know how it will be prepared. There are none of those stupid chili pepper graphics on the menu warning you that something will be spicy (thank dog — I have a whole rant about those dumb chili-pepper graphics, but that will have to take place at another time).
When I was deciding what to order, I was faced with the fact that there were two items on the menu called “squid and pork,” both the same price, who shared only three common characters in their Korean names. The waitress explained to me that they were different kinds of squid — “cousins.” I just asked her for the one she liked best, and what I got was amazingly tasty.
Here are some of the various things on our table (mine was the top left — check out those tentacles!):
I hope we’ll go back soon!