Location: 9540 Culver Blvd. Culver City, Ca. (310) 838-3131
Date: July 9, 2011
Rating: Very tasty — Spicy!
Moko is a newly opened Korean bar/restaurant serving very modernized variants using a Korean palette of flavors. This is to Korean as Red Medicine is to Vietnamese.
The pleasant but industrial space in the heart of Culver City’s bustling downtown.
The have the BBQ in the table, and there is an extensive section of the menu for ordering meats and vegetables to cook here — we didn’t do that on this visit.
An amuse of three “salads.” Left to right: “Watermelon Namul with tasted almonds chile, shiso and ginger,” followed by “Kong Maul, mixed sporuts with spring onions sesame and soy,” and on the right “Market Radish Namul, sweet ginger and pineapple mint.”
“Spicy Smash, Tequila Silver, lime juice, agave & cucumber, Thai basil, serrano.” This is one of those spicy specialty cocktails that has popped up all over the place lately. It was good, with a long serrano burn.
“Tai Snapper, asian pear jus and pickled ginger.” Sweet and lovely.
“Big Eye Tuna, yuzu, soy, and blood orange.” Also a really good presentation of the fish with complex flavor profiles.
“Sesame Duck Confit, sweet lettuces and mango with ginger aioli and chipotle jang wrapped in jjin bahng.” This was amazingly tasty. The smokey duck, the sweet fruit, and the tang of some pickles paired perfectly — and there was all sorts of texture going on.
“Green Chili Pork Sausage, pineapple and butter lettuces with ssam jang wrapped in jjin bahang.” Also great. The sausage thing tasted amazing.
“Asian Pear and Kholrabi Salad, pea shoots and perilla with mustard vinaigrette.” Pretty spicy!
“Heirloom tomatos, green beans, soy ginger vinaigrette.”
“Silken Tofu, ginger dashi broth.” Wasabi in the sauce was incredibly hot. Hotter even than atomic horseradish. My nose hurt for an hour. Each bite made me sneeze. I finished it all.
“Kimchi eggplat dumplings, mushrooms and silken tofu with pine-nut mustard dipping sauce.” Very tasty too, and not too spicy.
“Wagyu Beef Roseu Pyeonchae, truffle scented seared beef carpaccio with asian pear and arugula salad.” This was one of the blander dishes. The meat was succulent, but I felt the dish could use a little more zing.
“Pan Friend Duck and Foie Gras dumplings with sour cherry dipping sauce.” Incredible potstickers. Some of the best I’ve even had — foie gras! The sauce was really good too.
“Soju Cured Salmon, crisp potato pancakes with pickled onions and ginger cream.” Sort of a giant potato latke with salmon and creme fraiche. Pretty tasty.
Moko certainly had strong flavors, and I for the most part loved them. A lot of dishes were quite spicy, more than I would have expected (and I have a pretty high tolerance). So several hours later I’m still feeling the burn.
Check out some other modernized Asians like Red Medicine or Xino.