Friday, January 08, 2010

Chosun Ok : Doraville

Update Apr 24, 2010

My parents were in the mood for something a bit lighter and Asian.  They are relatively new to Korean food and don't handle the spicy stuff too well, so I thought Chosun Ok seemed a fairly good match.

And it was.   Eating here with my parents, it almost felt a bit like eating at home, in that the dishes were relatively straightforward in flavor, were decently cooked and were fairly light.

Fish roe jigae - (Sorry forgot to write down the name) - Always a nicety when the dish comes still bubbling hot.  A bit of a kick, but not too bad.   I'm not quite sure why I ordered this - I think my eyes are always attracted to the weird things on the menu, but at the end of the day, fish roe cooked in a stew is more or less the same.

Seolongtang (Ox bone broth) - My Mom wanted something light, but I think this was probably too light for her.  Oops, my fault in recommending.

Comparing it to the only other place, Gahm Mi Oak in NYC,  I have had it before, this came somehow across as more homey.  I want to say that the ox bone flavor is a bit stronger.  But that being said, it's still nowhere close in flavor to a bone stock.

Fried fish (tilapia) - When my Dad asked more information on the fish on the menu, the waitress strangely interrupted the couple dining at the table next to us to enable us to take a look at their dish.  It was a surpremely awkward situation; but the other couple was fairly gracious about it and even went so far as to recommend the dish.

This was my favorite dish of the ones order.  Fresh fish, fried with a light hand.  Solid stuff.

All in all, I think my detailed descriptions of the dishes somewhat bely the decent meal that my parents and I had here.

In the Atlanta area (about 20-30 mins away from downtown), the Buford Highway apparently offers a relative plethora of ethnic food, with a slew of Korean, Chinese, Vietnamese, and Mexican restaurants lining the side of the road. As a random fyi, according to some internet forums, Atlanta has the highest population of Koreans in the South.

Anyhow, I was apartment hunting with my fiancé and decided we should check it out, starting with a Korean restaurant, Chosun Ok.

Now from the outside, Chosun Ok, looked rather dark and dingy. And strangely, on a Thursday evening, there was only one other party dining there, inside the separate barbecue room.

But inside, it was cozy and the food was decent. Chosun Ok was described online as home-style and I would definitely agree. A lot of banchan that could have been spicier weren't and there were a number of the banchan with a rounder, sweeter flavor that were more pleasing. Confrontational would be the opposite of the right descriptor.

- potatoes - a fruity, semi sweet sauce, almost like the orange-colored salad dressing in some Japanese restaurants.
- kimchi - a decent kick, but not enough to make your nose runny after eating it.
- anchovies - sweetened to offset the salty taste.

?? - shredded beef, rice vermicelli, scallions, scrambled eggs, spicey broth. Broth had a more rounded taste to it, very much as if they had started off with a beef or chicken broth and added some chilis to give it heat, rather than the other way around. For once, my napkin wasn't covered in my runny nose snot.

Short rib soup - Pork ribs, daikon radish, rice vermicelli, scallion chunks, egg white & yolk strands. Fairly simple & light soup. Pork meat could have been more tender, but satisfying in a homey way.

All in all, it was certainly not bad, but just not something that would stick out as all that memorable. That being said, it was good at least to know that a scene like this exists here in the area.

Chosun Ok Restaurant
5865 Buford Hwy NE Doraville, GA 30340-2421 (Map)
(770) 452-1821

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