I really liked the interior. I thought it was a nice mixture of modern style and Asia decor.
I think that's why it attracted a lot of nicely dressed patrons.
I sat not on regular tables but at the tables above. I like it, especially since I got to keep my shoes on (I hate taking off my shoes to eat).
The most important part of the restaurant....
They had their regular menu and special menu.
Nothing on the special menu attracted me except the Makguli (막 걸 리). That is traditional rice wine from Korea. I had it when I went to Jeju City at Jeju Island in Korea and loved it. (I loved it so much that I drank so much and got drunk on it....okok I had some beers and soju too but still...)
Anyways Makguli tastes so good that you don't realize that you are drunk until it's too late.
Traditionally it it served in a big bowl and you drink from smaller bowls. Also you would scoop the Makguli with a wooden ladle. I think that it wasn't only taste but the uniqueness of using bowls to drink from.
Initially it wasn't served in here because it was made fresh and went bad quickly. So I could only dream about it but not drink it. I couldn't even let family try since it was available here.
Recently it is found here. At first a local Korean company made it but not sure what happened cos now it is imported from Korea. Not sure how they are able to export it or maybe companies have learned how to add preservative in it to keep it from getting bad (if you know how, tell me). I've include the Korean name so that you can order it, as the English name varies at different places.
Because it isn't made by the restaurant, they serve it in an unattractive plastic bottle and use regular glasses. Very "blah". However the drink is still very very very good.
This is the restaurant's attempt to look "fancy".
The Side Dishes
They served 3 types of side dishes. There was Kimchi (very good. I would have asked for more but was too full for seconds), boiled egg with seasoning (not impressed) and seasoned cucumber with shrimp (so so).
The Main Food:
So I ordered Galbi (marinated ribs), Yukho (marinated raw beef), Japchae (stir fried potato vermicelli), Tofu with pork and Kimchi (don't know the Korean name).
I liked it quite a bit. It was nice in that it was already cooked in the kitchen so my clothes don't smell.
I don't like Korean BBQ cos it makes me smell; I like it when I wear my ugly clothes and old jacket but then I look like a slob.
The picture is a little dark but if you've had Korean ribs, you know how it looks like. This dish came with rice.
Another very popular Korean dish. It is a mixture of vegetables and sometime meat or in the case of this restaurant, seafood. It's very easy to make. Maybe one day I'll make it and post it here (I learned how to make it from my Korean chef friend).
The Japchae here used good quality ingredients like squid and wood fungus. But two complaints from me: 1) the dish is too small for the price. Lucky I ordered many other dishes or else it would not be enough. 2) the noodles were soggy. It's pretty hard to make soggy Vermicelli but they succeeded.
Actually there is a third complaint: it didn't have enough seasoning.
To get good Japchae, go to Jang Mo Jib. So far, they have the best seafood pancake and Japchae that I've tried outside of Korea.
There were two choices for this marinated raw beef. One was spicy and the other was sesame seed dressing. I chose both.
It was ok but I like Yukho with an egg. I don't remember what restaurant that had really good Yukho but when I am having good Yukho, I'll share with you.
Another reason why I wasn't crazy about the Yukho at this restaurant was the snow pear pieces were sliced too big, especially when I don't like fruit in my savory food. Usually Yukho does have snow pear but they are smallish so it goes well but not in this case.
A other reason I wasn't a big fan of this dish is cos it's a little too sweet. One of the things I don't like about Korean food is that sometimes it too sweet. I'm not sure why so much sugar or syrup is used for their food when it is not dessert. It is the reason I don't like dukpokki (spicy rice cake). Even though it really really popular with Koreans and non Koreans, I just don't enjoy dukpokki.
Tofu with Pork and Kimchi
This dish was pretty bad. I've had this before in another restaurant and it was really nice there.
In Sura, the pork slices and Kim chi pieces were too big. They didn't take the time to properly cut it. But that's ok because cos this part tasted ok.
The bad part was the tofu. It was rough and not smooth. It ruined the dish. When I had it at E-hwa Restaurant (now it's gone), the tofu was cold and very smooth. It gave the impression that it was very fresh. Also the smooth and coldness matched the spicy and hot (temperature) very well.
I would NOT go to this restaurant again!! The food was not good and it was expensive. It cost me $100 in total, including tips. Guess for how many people??? Two only!!
Doesn't matter if the place is very hip and happening, it's not worth it if you enjoy making sure your taste buds are happy.
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