Man, it's been almost 8 years and maybe three owners since I first did a post back in 2005. By the time I did an update in 2009, I believe the place had changed hands, though the food was about the same. Some time after that I returned and really had an awful lunch, after which Do Re Mi went "no ami", just kinda slipping my mind. Over the last year, folks have been recommending Do Re Mi House which had left me wondering; was it that much better, or had it just returned to being decent food for a good value.....nothing wrong with that at all. Curiosity piqued, and my office having moved to a location fairly close by, there really was no excuse for not returning.
Of ocurse prices have gone up....hey, it's been 8 years. The base prices here are no longer $5.99, it's $7.99, with a higher range of $12.99 for "combos". Still, this isn't too bad. That said, there's a bit more panchan then I recalled....the usual suspects.
The flavor and basic quality varied during each visit. My first visit was the best.....
The worst was on my last visit where the baechu kimchi, your basic, standard issue napa cabbage kimchi tasted like it hadn't been marinated long enough, the fishcake was dry as cardboard, and sadly, one of my favorites, and something the "old" Do Re Mi House did so well, the gamja jorim, the simmered potatoes were hard and undercooked. Honestly, I thought these were apples when they hit the table.
As for the free soup......
Well....it's free, though they might as well serve you hot water. Man, I've had so many bad bowls of this stuff recently, I wish they'd just stop already.
On my first visit, I went with the Bulgogi lunch ($7.99), which looked perfectly fine.
This wasn't nearly as sweet as I recalled, though the meat was on the dry side. Overall, it wasn't a bad deal for $7.99 (which includes a drink). Standard issue mandu, a green salad, and seaweed salad accompanied everything. Oh, and I kept forgetting to take a photo of the teacup of Su Jung Gwa, the cinnamon tea/drink that comes at the end, a bit too sweet for me.
A week or so later I decided to check in at Do Re Mi again.
It was a pretty hot day, but I was quite hungry. I went with one of their combos where you can get either Kimchi Chigae (you gotta be kidding, not on this day), or Bi Bim Naengmyun and a protein ($12.99).
The Naengmyun was pretty stretchy, almost too hard and elastic. The flavor was pretty mild, I didn't find it very spicy as it needed a good dose of vinegar and hot sauce, but it wasn't bad overall.
I got the Daeji Bulgogi, the spicy pork as my protein. The old Do Re Mi really made a nice version of this.....this latest incarnation not so much as it was pretty bland. The portion size was quite generous though.
Oh yes, it would be a good idea to wear a darker colored shirt when eating the stretchy naegmyun. Otherwise you'll take the chance of returning to the office with a bunch of red specks on it.
I recently decided to return and have yet another lunch here. The kalbi during previous regimes had not been that great. I wondered how it was now....so I ordered the Galbi lunch ($9.99).
This was better than what I'd had here before. My previous experiences with kalbi here had been enduring thin, tough, cross-cut ribs. This was still LA Kalbi and I didn't expect anything different, but the cut was thicker and the grade a bit better. The flavor was decent, your basic kalbi, it was still a bit chewy, but not bad at all.
What disappointed was the panchan on this visit.
To me, Do Re Mi delivers a decent value. It's nothing fancy, but will do the job for lunch. The woman running the place can be a bit surly at first, but after I'd been here a couple of times, she's started....well maybe not smiling, but being a lot more friendly with me.
So for all those folks who told me I had to return....did I miss anything? Maybe dinner?
Do Re Mi House
8199 Clairemont Mesa Blvd Ste M
San Diego, CA 92111