Seoul searching, part 2

In case you missed it, my column that appeared in Thursday’s Go! section of the Monterey Herald this week included a whirlwind visit to three local Korean restaurants. Part two takes us to Won Ju Korean Restaurant in Monterey. I’ll be reposting my reviews and stories from my weekly column for the Herald here on my blog along with extra photos that didn’t appear in print.

Won Ju Korean Restaurant hides in plain sight on Lighthouse Avenue in New Monterey.

It’s funny, I’ve walked past Won Ju Korean Restaurant on Lighthouse a billion times, but I never really thought to stop in and try it out. I went in curious about the prospect for a new lunchtime haunt.

The kimchi pancake had an interesting blend of textures: doughy pancake and crunchy kimchi.

The Kim Chi Pa Jun — a spicy kimchi pancake ($12.95) — had an interesting mix of textures with the doughy pancake and chewy kimchi.

The Chap Chae was packed with lots of veggies.

On the recommendation of a friend, I tried the Chap Chae — a stir fry with glass noodles, vegetables and tofu ($16.95). I appreciated all the fresh veggies, which gave a nice earthy flavor. Sadly, the tofu was a little slimy, suffering from sitting underneath the heaping portion of noodle and vegetables.

The Dae Gi Bul Go Gi — sliced marinated spicy barbecue pork ($19.95) — was a nice complement to the vegetable stir fry.

Our server wasn’t kidding–the spicy pork was indeed pretty spicy!

The server wasn’t kidding when she warned me that this was a spicy dish. After a few bites, my nose started running!

The side dishes helped tone down the spiciness of the barbecue pork.

I’m curious to return to Won Ju Korean Restaurant to try their lunch specials. They offer a number of selections — including many barbecue dishes — for about $15, complete with an appetizer, side dishes and rice.

Won Ju Korean Restaurant is at 570 Lighthouse Avenue in Monterey. 656-0672. www.yelp.com/biz/won-ju-korean-restaurant-monterey.

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