Tuesday, February 7, 2012
A few months ago, we moved to Sterling. We had been pretty disappointed by neighborhood food establishments until we went to Mokomandy. I still can't believe such a great restaurant was hiding in our town. Mokomandy is a small Korean/Cajun restaurant. Seems like an odd mix but the chef has family roots in both ethnicities and spicy is also a common thread. Their menu is divided into small, medium, and large plates with a large selection of $3 snacks and sides.
We ventured out on a cold windy Friday night with baby in tow who slept through most of the delicious meal. I started with the Foie Gras Dumplings pictured to the left. These little pockets of yum where a wonderful start to a great meal. They were rich and luscious with that umami thing I hear so much about.
Any visit to Mokomandy would be incomplete with out a side of Cracklins. They came hot and popping to the table. Dusted with a touch of what I think was paprika. Our order during our second visit was spicier than our first visit. If you don't like hot spicy food I am sure you could request them without or just a tad of hot dust.
The first visit I had the Korean Karnivore Ssam, this was a pile of shaved beef shortrib and lettuce to wrap the meat. It was served with delicious and not too spicy kimche and yummy veggies. Patrick ordered the Wild Boar Bowl which was hearty and even though it was a medium plate, he was unable to finish it and brought home the leftovers.
This first visit I forgot my camera so all the pictures are from our second visit which took place on my 32nd birthday. Unfortunately, Orion was awake for this visit. He was almost asleep when we parked the car but was awake once we got into the restaurant. This made the meal stressful and less enjoyable as baby boy had on his fussy pants cause he was tired and wouldn't sleep. He didn't make too much of a scene but I know when to throw in the towel.
On our second visit I ordered the Oyster Poboys. These local oysters had a cornmeal crust and were served on delicious housemade brioche. Very yummy as I love cornmeal and brioche but it could have used more Oyster.
I also ordered the Gator Croquette. These were tasty balls but they could have been anything. They are made with house made bacon but I really couldn't tell. I have had gator before and felt there was a bit of that gator texture in the croquette. But by this point I was being distracted by a fussy baby boy.
Patrick ordered Steak Frites which was cooked perfectly to his taste and how cute are those lil' lumps of meat. I found the fries and bok choy to be really delicious, the carrots were a bit too crunchy for my taste.
The service at this place is wonderful. On our first visit we were told they were a man down so food left the kitchen more slowly but our server was very attentive. The place was packed during this visit and they put us in a table I assume they don't usually use when it is cold as the frigid air blows right inside. The table was by the front door and they turned the space heater in our direction to fight the cold front. The heater wasn't really necessary and we enjoyed our spot much more than waiting for a table. during our first visit, Patrick ordered a ginger ale. When they discovered they were our of the ginger ale one employee offered to run up to the supermarket to get him a Goya. We declined as they seemed busy enough.
Our second visit was on an unseasonably warm Thursday night, only a few other tables were occupied. When I took the baby out to the car, the hostess offered their bathroom for a diaper change. But I knew what he needed was a little booby snack and a nap. When Patrick eventually finished his meal and left, he had been given some free Chocolate Caramel Chicory pudding for our troubles which were of no fault of the restaurant. It was tasty pudding and gave me a bit of a late night sugar shock. The cane syrup salted caramels should be sold by the bagful!
Our first visit I ordered the Triple Chocolate Cake which was frozen dark chocolate mousse squares and devil’s food cake squares swimming in hot fudge with passionfruit sauce and the cake was topped with orange segments. It was just an OK dessert. The mousse was too frozen to eat, the cake was dry, and there was too much sauce but I did love the passionfruit.
Mokomandy has a very interesting cocktail menu. On each visit I ordered a different cocktail and enjoyed them both. I look forward to no longer breastfeeding so I can drink with abandon, not like I'm an alcoholic but I would like to try both their wine flights. The first cocktail i had was the Hibiscus 75 made with local Catoctin Creek Gin, Sparkling wine, Hibiscus, and Elderflower. I am not much of a Gin drinker but I do really like Catoctin Creek's gin. It is less juniper but more complex. The second visit, I enjoyed a Pomegranate Currant Fizz made with Pama Liqueur, Absolut Kurrant, Lavender Syrup, Lime, and Sparkling Rose. This may have been my favorite and I wish they came in bigger glasses.
I highly recommend this restaurant and believe it is worth the drive from DC. There are a number of menu items I want to try so I will be back. If you go mention my name, Charlotte the cheese lady!