Friday, February 20, 2015

Make it MANDU in DC if you crave Korean (2-18-15)

The third night of homelessness for Will & Sam was my second and I chose MANDU ( at 1805 18th St, NW just above Dupont Circle and we were very cold and heated up perfectly by the spicy and warmth of the food.
We had a hard day and cocktails were in order. A triple coke for Sam, a martini for Will and I chose the Joe Gibbson made with Hangar 1 Vodka, house brine, celery bitters, pickled carrot  and radish cube garnishes which were tasty and just right on this novel take of a martini.
A bottle of Poliziano 2012 Roos di Montalcino followed and was great with everything.
Samuel wanted the MANDU to start, steamed pork dumplings and declared they were delish. Will and I split the Hobak Jeon, a superb egg dipped zucchini, deep fried and served with soy dipping sauce. Our second starter we split was the superb Goo Jeol Mari, cold rice crepes (spring roll like) filled with veggies, egg, beef and according to the menu served with a thin mustard sauce. It was a light mustard, but packed a punch and I used it for the zucchini as well. 
Sam chose the Chicken Somyum Bowl which was a monstrous chicken broth bowl filled with Somyum Noodles, pulled chicken, mushrooms, carrots, bok choy and scallions. He asked for the egg strips not to be put in as they were cut strips of cooked egg. We took home half the bowl as it was so huge, but very filling.
Will & I both chose the hot stone bowls. Will had the Short Rib version called Galbi Dolsot and mine was Dolsot Bibim Bap or beef, veggies, rice and sunnyside egg on top. The sauce is called Gochujang which is a spicy chili bean paste. The stone bowl was so hot the rice caramelized on the sides as it sits in front of you. Even 45 minutes later as we finished the bowls were still very hot, quite welcome on such a cold night. We also received a plate of awesome veggies which included Broccoli, Rep Pepper & Sesame, Bean Sprouts with Oi (Marinated cucumber), Marinated Tofu with Fish Cakes and mini-kick Kimchi. It was all superb and fun as well.
Our server, also named Will, was very helpful as we had no clue what to order and the location upstairs has wooden tables and chairs (again no so comfy for my tuchus) with exposed brick walls and lots of various Asian art and pottery.
Surely a nice break from the many other Asian options we have in DC!
I also tasted the So Ju Charm, which is a rice & citrus Distilled Korean Liquor that tastes like Vodka but with lower alcohol. Think vodka-tasting-sake. YUM!
We shall return!