Amuse-Bouche, compliments of the chef
Ah. And we start the photos of my prix-fixe dinner at Per Se. This place… Was everything that you’ve read about in food blogs, magazines, whatever form of media you use to read about food. Yes, this restaurant is rated the second most expensive restaurant in the United States. And yes, I think it’s worth it.
This amuse-bouche melted in my mouth. I was surprised by a savory filling within this light and fluffy bread. The only thing I regret is that I didn’t have a notebook with me to take notes. Perhaps one day, I will be able to go back.
해물파전 Seafood Scallion Pancake
There is a certain art to making these… The street food style pancakes in Korea are HUGE. And they put in full stalks(?) of scallions. Apparently, the ones that are grown in Korea are a bit thinner so they’re easier to eat in full stalks. One of the things I love about these pancakes are that they’re crispy. They have a certain crunch to them that you can’t get in other foods. And they’re just… Oh-so-savory. Unfortunately, this one didn’t really do it for me in terms of the crunch, but the ingredients were amazing. Lots of seafood and lots of scallions! They didn’t skimp on anything. If it had that specific bite to it, then I would have given it a full five.
cold buckwheat noodles in spicy sauce with raw fish and steamed beef
Mmm. This is one of my go-to places for 냉면. It’s surprising how many places may call this dish their specialty, but get it wrong! I’m always in a dilemma when I get to this place… Do I get the spicy dish or do I get the original? Whatever I get, I’m always satisfied! The food is just delicious. And the warm broth that they give you to drink on the side is just what you need. I can’t wait to go back here; it’s definitely one of the places I miss most when I’m at school.
수육 Steamed Beef Slices with Seasoned Scallions
These are delicious. Although I don’t straight out crave them when I’m away from home, they’re a welcome sight when I come home. The beef is so tender! It’s a perfect combination with the seasoned scallions and the special soy sauce. It also comes with a bit of “도가니” which I am not sure of the correct english translation… But the texture of it is amazing! Love this dish. But I’ve definitely had better in other restaurants, so 4/5!
I love sashimi on boats! This was one of the biggest boats that I’ve had. However, for the price, I have to say that this was not a lot. The quality was alright. I would have been happier with more of what was in the middle of the boat than what was basically taking over the boat… Again, nothing special.
소라무침 Clams with Vegetables and Spicy Sauce
One of my favorite dishes when I go to Korean-Japanese restaurants. It literally makes my mouth water just looking at this. However, I’ve had better 소라무침.. I’ve had the same dish with a better sauce and better ratios of the different components that go into this. Nothing special.
Side Dish, Vegetables Wrapped in Salmon
Looks can be deceiving. The dish itself was so pretty! I wanted to like this dish so much. Unfortunately, the flavors weren’t quite there and the textures didn’t mesh well with each other. I’m not a fan of bell peppers, so I took them out, but the carrots made it too dry. And I’m pretty sure that even if I had kept the bell peppers inside, it wouldn’t have added much to the flavor or texture…
홍합탕 Mussel Soup
This dish is hard to do wrong. For a restaurant that claims they are a Korean seafood restaurant, I expect better. This was a huge disappointment because there were so many small rocks in the mussels. I don’t know if it’s because of the quality of the mussels or if it’s because they failed to clean the mussels properly, but both are an indication of the restaurant’s negligence.
Pickled Cucumber Side Dish
The owner of the restaurant (well.. the mother of the owner) gave us this homemade side dish! Apparently, they usually don’t give this out, but she was feeling super generous. (: So good!
Hamburger Steak & Rice with Curry
USDA prime 10 oz. beef ground with sunnyside egg
UM. I love this place. So. Much. Every time I go back home for the summer, I have to come to this place at least once. This place makes me so happy.
The first time I came here was with my uncle’s family. Their family (aunt, uncle, cousin) comes to visit once a year for about a month from Korea to vacation with us in the best way possible: spending time with family members, eating good food, and shopping. My uncle had to meet up with an old friend that lives in the area and this friend suggested that we meet at this restaurant. It had just opened (back in the day) and he had heard good things. We went. We dined. We loved.
My family loves hamburgers. This place basically captured the essence of the meat in the burger. Perfectly cooked meat, along with the best ingredients to go inside of the meat to make the patty. The rice that comes on the side is, in my opinion, the Asian alternative to the buns. For a small additional fee, you can have some homemade curry to go with your rice (always a must)! A nice salad on the side can be the alternative for the “greens” that go in the burger. The sauce is delicious, and the egg is like the cherry on top of the cake (although… I wish the egg was a little bit runny…).
All in all, this dish is delicious. From what I hear, there is a New York location now! I don’t know how successful they are or if they have the same quality food, but I would definitely recommend that you try it out. The New Jersey location is obviously a must. I haven’t had any other dishes from this place, but from the way they cook this simple yet difficult dish, I’m sure they can cook a few steaks correctly! (:
Veal & Portobello Meatloaf Sandwich
melted provolone, parmesean french fries
I had a hard time choosing what I wanted to eat. Making sure that I wasn’t getting anything that my family was getting, I looked through the menu very carefully. When I came upon this item, I was super excited. I never really had meatloaf before, and of course never in a sandwich! It seemed like something out of a packed lunch that a mom would make with leftovers from dinner… but fancier, obviously. I don’t know why I was expecting so much out of this sandwich, but when it came out, I was a little bit disappointed. The meat looked so juicy and the cheese looked promising, but when I took my first bite, it was just alright. The meat wasn’t as appetizing as I thought it was going to be, and the bread wasn’t the right consistency (I was expecting something along the lines of… crispy but chewy, like in a good grilled cheese sandwich). Meh.
Napa Valley Grille Trio’s
two beef sliders, caesar salad, fries
Napa Valley Grille. The fancy looking restaurant across from California Pizza Kitchen at Garden State Plaza. I’ve eaten here a few times before and have had pleasant experiences, but this was probably my favorite time there. I came with my family from Korea, expecting to get something like pasta and salad, but the lunch menu that they offered that day was really nice! I couldn’t try anything off of this dish because it wasn’t mine, but look how pretty it is! (: My uncle who ordered this dish said that he liked it because the portions were nice. He wished that all burgers came in this size so that he could have more if he wanted, or could just stop at two if he wanted them as snacks (he loves burgers). The fries seemed really generic, nothing special about them. The salad also didn’t seem like anything special. Although… I do recall that when I went to this restaurant a long time ago that they had a pretty nice caesar salad.. They had these anchovy pieces right in there that I had never seen before… So I’m guessing it was similar(?) unless the chef had changed since then.. Which I guess is likely since that was probably more than five years ago… Hm.
deep fried tender pork cutlets sauteed with egg & vegetables served over a bed of rice
I really need to remember that Katsu-Don is this dish, and not the Donkatsu that I always think of that I order at korean restaurants. I always expect just the “deep fried tender pork cutlets” on a dish with that familiar donkatsu sauce… And about three times now, I’ve gotten this. Do you know how it feels when you expect to eat something really delicious from your childhood and get something completely different?! It feels terrible. ): Fortunately, this dish was actually pretty good. I wouldn’t order it again because I prefer the other version, but I wasn’t complaining after I had my first bite of this.
불고기 Bulgogi Lunch Box
slices of prime beef with special sauce served with salad, rice, miso soup, and chef’s choice.
This wasn’t my bento box, but I have to say, the food here was mediocre. I’m definitely more critical of Korean food because I know I’ve been to some nice Korean restaurant in New Jersey and New York (spoiled.). (: The bulgogi was alright, I’ve definitely had better.
해물파전 Seafood Scallion Pancake
Korean pancake with seafood and scallions, served with seasoned soy sauce.
Um. I love scallion pancakes so much. My mom makes the best ones, but these were a nice alternative since I was missing food from home. This was actually pretty impressive for a Boston Korean restaurant, in my opinion. This pancake was a bit on the thicker side, but had lots of ingredients in it! Crispy on the outside, just the way I like it. 4/5 because nothing beats my mom’s. (: