A blinking cursor. Staring back at The Monster. It’s still blinking. Taunting. An empty white page. Waiting for inspiration. That won’t come.
Because a meal at MoKo pretty much leaves one in this place. Uninspired. The restaurant bills itself as modern Korean social dining (in the former Gyenari space that had the gall just to be a Korean restaurant). Does modern Korean social dining make one shred of sense to you? The Monster hereby declares himself modern American social person. Does that make The Monster better than say, modern American or American person or modern social?
The layout from Gyenari days is much the same, patio overlooking the Culver City campus of restaurants, front bar area with some casual high top tables and the back reserved for the majority of the dining area. There’s a full bar of Sake and Soju concoctions that are probably refreshing enough as you contemplate why you’re here and not at Red Medicine or Night and Market or home clipping your toenails and watching reruns.
Mind you, nothing The Monster got from the menu was egregiously bad. Mind you still, nothing was particularly great either.
A grilled prawn ssam (wrap) in jjin bahng (no idea) with grilled red onion, avocado and aji amarillo jang (not a clue) and a sesame duck confit ssam with mango and wild arugula with ginger aioli and chipotle jang (lots of jang!) both were tasty enough though neither left The Monster screaming for more.
Two different types of dumplings – the kimchi with eggplant, mushrooms, and silken tofu with pinenut dipping sauce (that’s what that was, really?) and the steamed shrimp with black vinegar dipping sauce -were both so average that the meal could have ended there and The Monster would have been fine going back to the office and eating the stash of peanuts in his desk.
But no, in an effort to over-order the world (or modern Korean world) over, a rice bowl with shrimp and crab and salad of blah, blah, blah, and pieces of chicken was also ordered. These both proved…
All this being said, the service was friendly enough, the water glass never went without being filled, and the menu does look promising. Maybe more time to refine the dishes and this place will be onto something. Modern American social person just isn’t so sure.
Why go? The post-modern Afghani dining club social space down the street was full.
Monster rating: 2/5 Monsters
9540 Culver Blvd
Culver City, CA 90232