Joung Kak 6.1.2009

June 16, 2009

One of the other Korean restaurants off of Maryland Ave. Ate here with Ed and Matt after moving to my new place since I had no food. Of course I got dolsot bim bim bap. It was pretty standard; not the most amazing, but still good.

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My mom has been raving about this place and their 99 cent zhajiang mian (noodles and black bean sauce) ever since her friend brought her here last week. She kept saying the next time I visit home she would bring me, which is exactly what she did when I went home over the weekend.

The restaurant is located right next to Lotte supermarket off of Rt. 40. The sign advertises the establishment as “Korean-style Chinese” cuisine. I don’t really know what that means. They covered their windows completely with banners advertising their 99 cent special. As a result no natural light comes into the restaurant, which actually makes for more pleasant lighting from the inside. The inside is clean and very nicely decorated with dark wood panels and brlightly lit with recess lights. You wouldn’t guess from the outside how nice it looks on the inside.

Banner on the outside advertising their zha jiang mian

Menu cover

Most of the servers don’t speak very much English. We had a hard time communicating with them and wound up doing a lot of pointing and gesturing, but we ended up with the right orders, so that wasn’t too much of an issue. We got two orders of the 99-cent zhajiang mian as well as an order of chap jae and a spicy squid dish. The server asked us if we wanted the spicy squid “mild spicy” or “Korean spicy.” which I thought was funny. We are not brave souls, so we went with mild spicy.

They don’t give you much in regards to appetizers. Just some pickled yellow radish, raw onions and a dipping sauce. But I guess since it’s technically a “Chinese” restaurant they’re not obligated to provide any of the traditional Korean appetizers? Anyway, I was never a big fan of pickled yellow radish anyway.

Chap Jae

“Mild spicy” squid

Zha Jiang Mian

The zhajiang mian was surprisingly good. I wasn’t expecting much for 99 cents, but we got a huge bowl of noodles. The sauce had tofu, some potato, and even a few pieces of pork. The only catch for the 99-cent zhajiang mian is they automatically add a $1 tip/order, which is fair. I though the chap jae was really good, though I was surprised that it came on top of rice. I didn’t think chap jae was usually served with rice. And the “mild spicy” squid dish tasted more like Korean spicy…but maybe I’m a weak sauce.

Take home message–I’d definitely go back for more “Korean Chinese” food.

Oh yea…and I saw this on the menu and got a kick out of it.

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Last Saturday, my friend Ed invited me and 16 of his closest friends to try this Korean place in Glen Burnie he heard about. It’s called Goong Jeon (their advertised URL doesn’t work). Based on the one review on yelp at the time, it only had one star, but the reviews on citysearch were better. So I figured I had to check it out for myself and form my own opinion. Because we had such a large party, they put us in one of the private rooms, which was nice because we were able to make lots of noise and be rowdy without disturbing everyone else in the restaurant (which wasn’t very full anyway). Although, the room we were in was really cold. One of the servers brought in a heat lamp on one side of the room, but the other side of the room was still freezing. You had the option of eating at the dinner buffet ($18.99/person), which consisted of your choice of raw proteins and vegetables which you could cook at the table. I wish there were more Korean BBQ places around here where you can cook at the table. About 5 in our party chose that option. The rest of us ordered a bunch of dishes to share. We ordered three proteins, the bulgolgi, kalbi, and spicy pork. But because we were such a large party, our server said they would just cook it in their kitchen for us rather than let us cook it ourselves, so I was a little disappointed I didn’t get to cook.

Overall I thought the food was okay, I’ve definitely had better Korean food in this area. The bulgolgi wasn’t that great, and the pa jun dough didn’t taste right…I think maybe too much dough and not enough filler. I did enjoy the spicy pork and the chicken wings. I might try to go back some time with fewer people and try my hand at cooking the BBQ, or try the buffet.

Pictured L-R, Top to bottom: Chicken wings, Goong Jeon dinnerware, bulgolgi, chap jae, appetizers, pa jun, spicy pork, kalbi, sake.

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I went home over the weekend to see my parents, and we decided to have lunch at Bethany Seafood, since we hadn’t been there in over a month. (*gasp*).

I never noticed that they spelled “Bethany” wrong on the sign before…

They always start you off with a rice porridge

Banchan!!!!

Some of my favorite banchan: kimchijeon and steamed egg

My sister ordered the pork cutlet

I ordered my regular: dolsot bimbimbap with beef

I always love that if you leave a layer of rice at the bottom, the stone pot is so hot it continues to fry the rice while you eat and at the end it’s nice and crispy. It’s literally a rice crispy treat, haha.

Lunar New Year Korean Style

January 27, 2009

Celebrated Lunar Year with some friends up at Nam Kang, the Korean Restaurant up on Maryland Ave tonight. Ordered the Tuk Mandoo Guk, a dumpling soup dish that you’re suppose to eat on New Year’s. Apologies for the poor quality photo of my half-eaten soup. Forgot to take a picture when it first came. But in the top left corner is potato salad, which was part of the banchan. Happy ‘Niu’ Year! It’s the year of the Ox, which is my year. Can you guess how old I am? haha.
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Bethany Seafood

January 6, 2009

This Korean restaurant in Ellicott City off of Rt 40 is a favorite of my parents. We went there on New Year’s Day with some family friends and ordered the large sushi boat shown here:

There was the standard salmon, tuna, red snapper, etc. But there were also some interesting items like sea cucumber (very chewy when eaten raw; shown at the bottom left in the square dish), abalone (just above the Red snapper on the right), and this weird slimy thing that the servers only knew the korean name for (at the tip (bow?) of the boat).

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