Apple Korean House recently opened and after seeing the grand opening sign and reading positive feedback, I wanted to go check it out. On my first attempt, I was surprised to see it closed for small renovations. Already?
A week later we returned, only to find out it wasn’t open for lunch. Finally on attempt #3, we came and it was open. Open and packed! The restaurant is quite small, but obviously good buzz has gotten around because there was a small line most of the night.
Inside, the booths are set up in sections that resemble bamboo huts. The walls are also completely covered in manga. Dining turnaround time was fairly quick so we didn’t have to wait too long. The menu exterior had bamboo like covers which matched the setting.
The tables also contained buzzers in case you need the attention of a waiter. It was actually quite helpful because the service left a lot to be desired.
After ordering, we sat around for a long time with a completely empty table. Not even a drink was first presented or any banchan dishes. We saw that the staff was constantly putting new bottles of barley tea into the fridge. Apparently they couldn’t make it fast enough to let cool because when our bottle was finally presented (the same time we were served our first dish), it was still lukewarm despite coming straight from the fridge.
Tong Dak (Spicy Fried Chicken)
We started our with fried chicken wings, which DH wanted. After eating Kyochon, DH always wants to try the fried chicken at other Korean restaurants. The wings were drenched in a very starchy sauce and pepper flakes that caused them to be mildly spicy. The wings had a nice crunch to them, and were quite plump and moist, but I didn’t care for the thick sauce which seemed like an overdose of cornstarch.
Everyone in the restaurant seemed to order the jajangmen and the jampong, so we did the same to make sure we weren’t missing out.
Jajangmen (noodles with stir fried soybean paste)
The portion was quite huge, large enough for DH and I to share. The noodles had a nice chew to them and while I enjoyed the flavor of the soy bean sauce, I found it to be too watered down. It’s one of the better versions I’ve had of this in San Diego, but I’m still seeking a version that is as good as my favorite one in the Bay Area.
Jampong (spicy seafood noodle soup)
This bowl was just as big as the jajang noodles and filled with seafood goodies including squid, mussels, shrimp. The soup base was a medium spicy and had a nice seafood flavor to it. The same noodles were used. I preferred this one over the jajangmen and would love to eat something like this the next time I’m craving ramen.
There were only two people taking care of all the customers that night. The owner was there as well, but he just walked around and observed. As a result, a lot of little things went wrong with the service. For instance, we got our side dishes halfway into our meal. We also only got two and I saw the table next to us had three, even though they ordered the same exact meal as us.
At the end of the meal, when we were about pack up, they finally presented us with separate small bowls so we could share the noodle bowls. They also forgot the rice DH ordered to eat with his chicken.
I’m hoping the service improves. I also wish they were open for lunch, when I think they would likely be less busy. I would stop by again for the jampong though and I’m curious to check out a few other menu items.
While driving home, we also passed by the plaza with Tapioca Express, Tofu House, Red Moon, and saw this sign for a new Ramen place! Rakiraki. This was the first I’ve seen of the sign. When I took a peek it looked like it was still under construction, but reader Faye told me that someone inside told her it is supposed to open September 26th.
Here’s the menu from Apple Korean House: