Summer weekends in Seattle are all about the frantic effort to enjoy every last dropt of sunshine. Roaming from canoe to bonfire and from Mariners games to Sounders games can take a lot out of you. When Monday night is all about recovery, Traditional Korean Beef Soup is the place to go. The soup and the dishes served with it instantly invoke healthfulness along with the kind of comfort food that my kind more readily attributes to chicken broth with matzoh balls.
As the name and cartoonish bull mascot imply, this place is all about the beef soup, offered in a handful of varieties. The difference between among the menu items are the cuts of beef used, but each one comes with the choice of noodle type. On a recent visit, the waitress thankfully offered an extremely decisive answer when asked which is better: "clear," she said. We looked up, wondering if there was more to it. She seemed surprised that we were interested "You can get flour noodles anywhere, everywhere" she clarified. Clear glass noodles it was. The broth itself is rich, but plain in color and flavor, letting the diner customize each bowl with the side dishes.
With each side dish, excitement for the main event grows. Coarse salt sits on the table when you are seated. As soon as you order the fresh scallions, purple multi-grain rice, and fire-engine red house-made hot sauce arrive. Next up are the ban chan. Often Korean restaurants will compete to have the most extensive spread of these little nibbles, dropping arrays of eleventy-seven mediocre pickle types. Not here, where two lonely bowls landed--but what bowls! The kimchi and the radish both appeared rustic in a way that showed care through its lack of perfection. The waitress beamed with pride when the homemade dishes were immediately recognized as such.
She was also happy to provide instruction on the soup, inviting us to dump everything from the table into our soup. Everything including the dumplings we ordered upon noticing the dumpling making station on a back table. Like everything else here, the care that went into the crafting of each dumpling was instantly apparent. The homespun style of the food is a relaxing retreat from the craziness of the weekend, like heading to grandma's house for a meal, even if this grandma is more Traditional Korean Beef Soup than matzoh ball soup.
Traditional Korean Beef Soup
22929 Hwy 99, Edmonds, WA 98026, (425) 977-2929