This past Saturday I finally checked out Myung Dong 1st Ave, a Korean restaurant that opened last year in Allston. The BF was in town (he is in NYC now for work) and we made plans to meet up with a dear friend of mine, Tali, and her boyfriend Brian.
Walking into Myung Dong, we were treated to a blast of what I assume to be Korean pop music. We were seated next to a large flat screen showing pop videos filled with adorable (or nausea-inducing) young singers dressed as cheerleaders, schoolgirls and the like. It is one of the odd-yet-completely-at-home touch you find in Asian restaurants in the area. It was filled mainly Asians, with a few other tables of young people (although as I get older, anyone younger than me suddenly qualifies as a "young person").
We ordered a pitcher of pear soju. It tastes like a fusing of pear nectar and a liquor, and was sweet and easy to sip, although technically one is supposed to drink the entire shot at once. For those unfamiliar with soju, wikipedia has a great summary of the etiquette required to drink soju in a group gathering (although according to the rules, it would be impossible to drink alone as one cannot fill their own glass).
The waiter brought out a variety of small complimentary dishes, including sauteed greens, fish cakes, kimchi and radishes.
We ordered a basket of mini dumplings to start. I had read some rave reviews about these little morsels, but found myself unimpressed with the fried pork and vegetable filled morsels. Great in idea, so-so in execution.
photo from: http://muze.exblog.jp/
I ordered bimbimbap for my main dish. To call it stir-fry would probably anger some, but the set up reminded me of that. Julienned vegetables were placed in a sizzling hot stone dish, surrounding a large scoop of white rice. Thinly sliced beef was placed atop the rice and an egg was broke over the top of the dish. I love, love when food is interactive. The egg came out sunny-side up but I was able to neatly flip it over to cook it to a little more than over easy. I used some chili-garlic sauce to give it a bit of a kick. The dish was simple, elegant, tasty but not too filling. Bimbimbap. Try saying it a few times; fun, isn't it?