Kind of Korean Comfort Food

November 9, 2017

It would be hard to describe how much I enjoyed the meal I had at Jeju Noodle Bar the other night.

Maybe it’s the fact that it was so cold and rainy – one of those nights when your boots leak as you trudge from the subway, the wind blows and your umbrella turns inside out.  On a night like that anyplace as bright and welcoming as this modern room would seem like an oasis.

Or maybe it was the fact that the first bite we tasted – what they call black edamame – turned out to be ordinary edamame wrapped  in a chile, black garlic embrace – was just so seductive. Literally impossible to stop eating.

Then the next dish arrived.  It’s that one above, clean little squares of tuna on a pillow of scrambled eggs with tobiko and rice.  Served with sheets of crisp, warm nori to wrap up the luscious mush it was an endless tale of texture and taste.

We had cucumbers bathed in kimchi

And kochujang bokum – spicy bits of meat on rice topped with fried garlic.

We drank a bottle of wine, talked, ate some more; it was all delicious.  And when it came time to order the main event – what you’re suppose to come here for is the Korean noodle bowl, ramyun – we were already sated.  But we gamely ordered a bowl of fish coop – chicken and dashi with confit chicken, noodles, herbs. It was complex, packed with interesting flavors, and I can’t wait to go back and try the other varieties.

Is this Korean food?  More like Korean-American – but I was fascinated to note that most of the other people in the restaurant on that rainy night were Asian.  We all need comfort.

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