Yes, Korean food. In li’l ol’ Cecil on Route 50.
The whole restaurant has just 10 seats and is subtle enough to drive by twice before pulling in. Even shares a building with a used-car dealership. Like you do.
This is it. All of it. Seriously.
I only found out about it because a friend knew someone who thought highly of it, enough so that it sounded like it was worth a little drive. It was.
Owner Yong Kwon might just be hand-rubbing a vinegary spice slurry on cabbages to ferment her own kimchee or pickling mu radishes when you walk in. A native of Korea, she chose the out-of-the-way spot because she wanted to live close to her grandson — her “golden piggie,” hence the restaurant’s name.
Among her favorites is a classic beef bulgogi, marinated in soy sauce, sesame oil, ginger, wine, garlic, black pepper and sugar and flash-cooked to keep it tender.
Don’t go in expecting a wide array of banchan, the traditional Korean side dishes. There are a few and she keeps them simple and on the vinegary side. But paired with the bulgogi or a Korean pancake appetizer big enough for two made with sweet potatoes and onion, their sharp pungency accents and elevates what’s on the plate.
Not everything is homemade. The ramen — broth and noodles — are of the instant variety, which she explains by saying no one in Korea eats anything else. Spending a day making the broth and noodles isn’t worth it, she said, when doing it this way is almost as good.
She seems to know everyone who walks through the door, and well enough to give them endless crap if she’s in a fun mood. The better she knows folks, the more merciless she is.
“You finally brought your wife,” she told one dude who came in with his equally trucker-capped buddy. “Hurry up and eat and get out.”
All in good fun.