Saturday, May 24, 2008

Korea House

Fat City gets a lot of laughs. The hubris of the 1960-70's Jefferson Parish council of believing it would become the new French Quarter beget a largely unpopulated derelict space in the 90s. However if one really thinks about it, there are some great spots down there to eat. Drago's of course, but not too far from Drago's is a spot that captured my heart: Korea House.

I did go to Doson's for lunch but my that only increased my desire for ethnic food. However at dinner the heat of ethnic food drew me like a moth to a flame. While walking the hounds, Asparagus and Penelope, we ran into Lady's boss who promised us Korea House was not to be missed. But she warned us, "the inside is nothing great."

I have a theory, well a lot of them, but this one is this: a certain amount of hodge-podge, accumulation of crap is indicative of a good meal. Beach side restaurant/shacks in the Caribbean always have a certain level of flotsam and jetsam which gives the place authenticity and character. Korea House has character, and of that a lot.

Our waitress who is also probably the owner steered us into ordering the following: Dumplings, Spicy Beef Soup (#37), the Squid (#9), short ribs(#18), and the pork (#19). Damn was it good.

All the food arrived at once. The dumplings were dumplings but very good to nibble on while the center of the table brazier heated up. At the center of our table a hole was filled with charcoal. On top of the charcoal a grate was placed. On top of the grate, meat was placed. Any questions, please ask the nearest Cave Man.

The soup had an huge beef broth which carried the flavors of tomato, spice, egg, scallions to a well-rounded finish. And enormous that portion. The squid, although a bit chewy, brought the spiciness we craved. But the real star of the evening was the beef short ribs and the pork.

The short ribs are sliced super thin, to allow their tenderness to show through following such a short cooking time. You remove the meat from the bone, place it inside a piece of lettuce, top it with rice and your choice of the condiments. My favorite was the bean paste, radish, and kim-chi (a preservation technique for things like cabbage and other vegetables). Roll it up and enjoy. This technique is also the way to eat the pork. Both are good, both satisfy whatever culinary urge you have.

I realize advocating for Korea House is nothing new. I am not trying to be Walter Cronkite here. But GOD DAMN is it delicious. As far as ethnic food goes, it blew me away. I suspect it will have the same effect on you.


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