Thursday, November 15, 2007

Turnpike Redux

From our DC-based, Pseudo-Korean correspondent

With a visiting relative in tow and fond memories of our last trip out Little River Turnpike, I returned to Hankook Kyoja last night to make sure the first dine-in wasn't an anomaly, that the food is in fact that decent. While the Dennys decor raised suspicions amongst the first timers, all were quite pleased and surprised at the food. Hankook Kyoja is on its way to becoming our default Korean, replacing HanSungOk.

We tread familiar ground with the samgyupsal (still good), but branched out with some fried mandoo, soondooboo, and seafood pancake (haemul pajeon). At many lesser Korean joints, the mandoo and pajeon have a tendency to be a 5-napkin affair (overly greeeezy), but these were very lightly battered and fried...absolutely delicious. The mandoo were particularly tasty, almost like a puff pastry, crunchy on the outside and a good mix of meat in the middle. The soondooboo was a bit pedestrian, but still enjoyable. Polished off a bottle of soju and it made for a very satisfying evening.

The service was also much improved since the last visit. So much so that we had to fight them off to let us turn our own samgyupsal on the bbq. The heart-attack casserole (sausage, bacon, ham and kimchi) seems to be calling my name...but I should probably wait until after the Thanksgiving binge to return.