In the past few years, anytime anybody has suggested “Koreatown,” the answer has inevitably been “Yes.” The neighborhood has been so consistently rewarding that no further information is necessary, just that word. Of course it’s even better when somebody utters the word “regional.” Specialized Korean dishes with specific provenance continue to flow east from Seoul, Busan and beyond. A recent ventured to Koreatown saw me join Matthew “Mattatouille” Kang, Scoops ice cream wizard Tai Kim, Cognoscenti coffee pro Yeekai Lim and more people for Korean barbecue at Taenung, which didn’t end up being especially unique, but did yield this week’s Dose of Vitamin P.
The two-month-old restaurant in the former home of Mu Dung San is named for a neighborhood northeast of Seoul that houses the tombs for Royals who founded the Yi Dynasty. They offer two tiers of all-you-can-eat consumption, but we stuck with individual orders. Spicy pork barbecue was the last meat to hit the tabletop grill and was by far the biggest crowd pleaser, which was a nice surprise considering the un-marinated pork barbecue was decidedly bland. Apparently marinating the same meat in soy and “secrets” for three days is enough to stir diners into a savory frenzy. The caramelized, scissor-cut strips were intensely flavorful, especially when dipped in sesame oil and salt.
Dose of Vitamin P spotlights my favorite pork dish from the previous week.