I really don't know the Korean name of this restaurant, so will just go by the English sign.
I first noticed this little restaurant over a year ago. We had finished a nice meal at China Max, and were wandering around the strip mall, when I noticed a Woman running two plates of Mandoo over to the Pool Hall located right next door. Even though I was stuffed to the gills, it still looked pretty good. A few days later I received an Email from our eating buddy Calvin; who mentioned that "the food is like what my Mom and Aunts make, and the sometimes surly service is like what you'd get at home." Hmmmm.....sounds good, after all Mom's make the best food, right? Hmmmm...sounds bad, remember how Mom acted when you didn't eat your peas???? Or when that "Tuna Surprise" really did surprise???
Recently the Missus and I finally made our way to this restaurant. The interior is full of wooden booths, with Soju posters on the walls, along with a closing time of 2am on Fridays and Saturdays, I could sense pretty hearty grub.
This really is a Family operation. We were first served by an Older Lady, and later on when 2 other Young Women(daughters?) walked in, they immediately started waiting on us as well. A Middle-Aged Gentleman was manning the kitchen. We looked over the menu, and placed our orders.
And soon enough our panchan arrived.
The portion size of the various panchan were pretty good. And the quality ranged from some pretty tasty stuff, to very, very mediocre(iceberg lettuce salad with thousand island dressing??).
The Missus enjoyed the sweet potato and shrimp:
And the steamed egg.
The Seaweed Salad wasn't bad.
Even though the Baechu(Napa Cabbage) Kimchi wasn't the best, it was still passable. As was the most of the panchan. We were starving so we basically attacked the panchan. And even though we were in the secluded corner booth, the Older Lady came by just as we were finishing up our panchan, looked at us, and said, "Oh, you hungry, huh?" To which we pointed out the stuff we liked and said "It's really good". Damned if She didn't break out into a smile, and a minute later came back with a second round of panchan...and we didn't even ask! Just like Mom????
The Missus, being absolutely starved had ordered the Combination BiBim Naeng Myun and Bulgogi($13.99). Not knowing what to expect, the usual metal bowl of rice, and a sizzling plate of Bulgogi arrived at the table.
The Missus enjoyed the Bulgogi, though I told Her it was on the sweet side, and with the mushrooms and carrots it was almost like a stir fry. I will say this, it wasn't bland in the least. With some help She managed to finish the Bulgogi, only to be met with this. The BiBim Naeng Myun(spicy cold noodles).
Geez, do you think this was enough food? I didn't think this was very good, the Hot sauce tasted earthy and beany, but without any sweetness, or tangy flavor, and suffered from a lack of depth. The noodles were not good either, instead of having a taut elasticity, they were on the mushy side. The ice was shaved frozen broth. Overall, not something I'd have here again.
I realize that we didn't even get to what I had yet. I ordered the Spam and Kimchi Fried Rice($8.99):
This was a large portion of rice, that had been stir fried with a generous helping of Spam(must've been a half can!), some kimchi, and Gochujang. I really enjoyed this, the sour hints from the KimChi kinda freaked the Missus out, so She ate the Egg! Try as I might, I couldn't finish, so I had the rest the next day.
Korean Hometown Restaurant serves up rustic, though tasty Korean dishes. It is indeed Homestyle. Doesn't some KimChi Fried Rice sound good with a couple of Hite? Looks like we'll be back....well, I'll definitely will be back. Mainly to try out this item on the menu:
It's the only item that's priced the same for lunch and dinner. Is that saying something?
Korean Hometown Restaurant
4690 Convoy St
San Diego, CA 92111