We accidentally found this Korean BBQ place - tucked away in the corner of a small strip mall - when we wanted to try something new in this Korea-/Japan-/China- town neighborhood of San DIego. In this stripmall alone, there are two other Korean BBQ houses and two noodle houses. The BBQ smells, and the full-house of laughing guests around the grill, brought us in to Mapo over all the others we walked past. While there is little in terms of flavor to distringuish Korean BBQ meats, freshness is important, and here, it is fresh with a great variety from traditional beef, duck, chicken, and tongue. What does make for a memorable Korean meal is the side dishes - the salads, noodles, and pickled vegetable (including the staple, kimchee). All were tasting and fresh. But what stood out is the kimchee stew - the heat brought out the flavor of the kimchee that was them infused into the firm tofu. This dish is one of the options that comes with the combo meal with the other options being dumplings. Forego the dumplings! Also part of the combo is what is listed on the menu as "boiled egg". While we were exepcting a boiled AND picked egg, we were treated instead to a bubbling hot, light and delicately fresh egg souflle that had the soothing texture of silken tofu. Probably the most memorable dish of the evening and what will call us back.
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