Jacksonville, FL 32207 My besties and I decided a change in cuisine type was in order, so off we went to one of Jacksonvilles Korean spots, there are only two in town. This was a first time visit for all of us. Small spot in a strip mall with other Asian retailers can make for one stop shopping. There are only a few BBQ tables, which were full when we arrived so we sat at one of the few tables that wee cleaned off.
This spot is owned and run by a husband and wife team. A native of South Korea and her American husband combined their talents to bring the most authentic Korean food to the area. She cooks and he takes care of the front of the house.
That being said, be aware that service is quite relaxed, to put it kindly. We waited a spell to even be acknowledged, and once we were, it was a long spell between ordering and actual food delivery. We were not in any rush, but even getting our drinks turned into a struggle and we only asked for two bottles of water and one tea.
We started with some shared appetizers, first to the table, Hacmul Pajcon a seafood pancake that according to the menu description contained green onion, squid, cuttlefish,octopus, mussels, shrimp and scallops. We tasted non of that except for the green onion. It was tasty enough, but not as exciting as it sounded .
Our second choice the Fried Dumplings, nothing we have not had before, but the portion size as large the dumplings tasty.
Since there were no BBQ tables available, we took our chances selecting dishes we knew nothing about. That in it self is not a bad thing, and often leads to some wonderful experiences. Two of us were rewarded with wonderful one of us not so much.
As is traditional with any Korean meal several side dishes Banchan were presented
Here is the line up of our dishes, Dukbagi Bulgogi, marinated beef with vegetables in a sweet sauce served with a side of rice. This was truly a pleasant dish to look at. Served in a stoneware bowl, steamy with wonderful aromas rising from the dish. Taste was amazing. I am no Korean food expert, but I know what I like and this dish satisfied all my senses.
Next Dilsot Bibimbap, rice topped with marinated beef, vegetables and a fried egg mixed with red pepper paste, served in a sizzling stone bowl. The recipient of this dish was instructed to stir it all up in order to mix the flavors, and incorporate the egg. She started before I got the picture, but the dish is still pretty interesting and proved have a wonderful flavor.
Unfortunately for me my choice was the absolute worst dish of the night. I love Pho and saw listed under Soup , Kalguksu, a spicy seafood noodle soup, shrimp, clams, and vegetables. I inquired about the heat level and went with spicy, common for me. When the dish arrived it looked promising, but ended there. Linguine noodles, shrimp still in the shell, a few clams, and some vegetables. What could have been a flavorful broth was nothing but spicy with nothing else going for it. My friends tasted this and on named it “off brand flaming hot Cheetos dust” , the other just shook her head. I abandoned it completely and finished the Pancake.
So two wins and one miss does not make for a bad review, perhaps I just ordered the wrong dish. I certainly would return and try either one of the dishes my friends ordered, or just select something else from the menu. I am partial to the BBQ you can cook yourself at the table. and if the BBQ table had been available, this review would have three positives.
So I say go, get you friends, give it a try. Just be ready to spend time waiting, service is a bare minimum.