Sunday, June 13, 2010
Dragon: Go for the Noodle + Entree Lunch Deals For Great Value
Whenever I get a hankering for decent jjajangmyun (alternately spelled Chachiangmen), the classic Korean-Chinese black bean noodle dish, I head to Dragon, or Yong Goong in Korean. It has one of the best lunch deals in town, offering a meat or seafood dish as a combo for anywhere from $8 to $13.
The combo meal also includes fried rice and a fried wonton but neither are remarkable so I'd stick to the noodles and main dish.
My main dishes of choice are the tangsuyook, or sweet and sour beef, or the Kung Pao chicken that has a slight kick to it. Sure. Neither one of them is healthy by any stretch. Both are deep fried and somewhat smothered in sauces. That's where the kimchi, raw onions and pickled daikon radish that accompany any meal come in to balance out the grease.
The raw onions can be dipped in what I call black bean essence -- a dense paste of unadulterated black beans pureed and seemingly seasoned only with salt and a dab of oil to soften it. It's an acquired taste but one worth checking out. Just don't do it on a weekday when you have to return to the office and have to face your co-workers with some pretty potent onion breath.
For those who want spice all the way, jjamppong may be more up your alley. Jjamppong is a soupy noodle dish that is a hodgepodge of all things seafood such as squid and shrimp whose broth is so spicy that it bears a red-hot hue. It doesn't mess around with spice so beware.
I'm a sucker for complimentary desserts and I absolutely love the little morsels of deep fried (I know, again) sweet potato pieces covered with clear syrup that hardens like candy by the time they reach the table and are quickly popped into my mouth. These lovelies basically taste like candied sweet potatoes, also known as matang in Korean and sold on street carts in Seoul. Whatever they're called, they're delish. A great finish to a meal.