Sometimes I try to come up with witty titles for my blog posts. Other times, I just let the name of the restaurant speak for itself. This, friends, is one of those times. Because when you go to a restaurant named Joo Joo, no blog title is going to be able to top that. Truth.
Anyway, I went to Joo Joo on Sunday night with some friends from college. We try to get together once a month or so to visit a new restaurant with an international theme. So far, we’ve tried Japanese, Thai, Indian, Mexican, Chinese, Jamaican, German, and I’m sure I’m missing a lot more. Anyway, tonight’s cuisine was Korean!
I’ve had food from many different cultures, but Korean was something I had never tried, so I was super excited.
Joo Joo is nestled in a cute little strip mall in Creve Coeur.
It was really cute inside.
There was the main dining area, and Joo Joo also has karaoke rooms in the back! How neat is that. Anyone up for karaoke?
I wasn’t sure what to order. Luckily, one of my friends is Korean! She recommended the Bulgogi – Korean marinated beef. Yum! I went for it.
But first some appetizers (or banchan) were brought to the table! This part was fun, because I had never tried any of these things before! And I’m always up for a fun treat.
So let’s see…there was acorn jelly:
It’s also known as dotorimuk (thanks, Wikipedia!), and it’s made from acorn starch. It was pretty and the sauce was tasty, but the acorn jelly itself didn’t really taste like much of anything. It had the consistency of jello. Not bad!
Next up? Bean sprouts!
These were pretty good. Kinda spicy, which I liked.
Radishes were next. They were sweet and crunchy. It tasted like coleslaw – really yummy coleslaw.
Next up? Macaroni salad…
It was good, but I was sort of surprised to see this at a Korean restaurant. Yummy, but nothing ridiculously special.
Next up – kimchee radishes!
These were spicy and crunchy. Delicious!
Finally, there was the one item I was waiting for… KIMCHEE! Kimchee is a traditional fermented Korean dish, made of vegetables with varied seasonings. In the example above, the veggie was radish. But I was looking forward to the kimchee I had always heard about…
This one! I think it was cabbage? I was really nervous. I wasn’t sure what to expect. But I just dove in, Andrew Zimmern-style and had a huge piece.
And…I liked it. No, I loved it! It was crunchy, flavorful, and spicy! I can’t believe I’ve waited so long to try kimchee! Good stuff.
As if the banchan wasn’t enough to hold us over until dinner, one of my friends ordered dduk-bok-ki, spicy rice cake.
It came with a deliciously spicy sauce and a boiled egg. The dduk-bok-ki tasted just like gnocchi! I was in love. It was chewy and squishy and soft and just wonderful.
So finally it was time to order, and boy was I ready! Time for bulgogi!
It was thinly sliced marinated beef with vegetables. It came with sticky white rice. The beef was slightly sweet, which I loved! This was SO good. Do you ever have that feeling when something is so good you keep eating, even though you start to feel uncomfortably full? That’s how I felt. I just couldn’t stop!
Service at Joo Joo was pretty good, considering how busy it was that night. Everyone was super friendly, and the atmosphere was cheery and bright.
Food: 5 stars (out of five)
Ambiance: 5 stars
Service: 5 stars
Value: 5 stars
Another five star establishment! My first foray into Korean food = success! I want to come back again and again. It was so good! If you haven’t had Korean food yet, try Joo Joo for sure. You won’t be sorry.
Thanks to Dae, Refka, and Chung for a great night out! Let’s go back to Joo Joo really really soon…please?