Your LA Food Examiner was recently invited to dine at MoKo (for Modern Korean) in the gourmet ghetto corridor of Culver City. Joining me at the table was L.A. food blogger, Tony Chen, of sinosoul and Hayon, his Korean born wife.
When I mentioned I would love to write about MoKo, but didn’t have much of a frame of reference for Korean food, he said “this is all you need to know- this is the best Korean food you will ever taste.”
“My Mom would say, this tastes like Korean food...”, Hayon added
Here’s what I can tell you. This food is delicious! We began with impeccably pristine seafood- raw oysters (also not something I normally indulge in, but they shined up at me so beautifully with their caviar garnish), and Korean style crudo served with sauces laced with Korean chile garlic pastes. Chef Gary Robins, whose resume includes stints at some of New York City’s finest restaurants, hand selects his fish downtown at IMP fish market, along side L.A.'s top sushi chefs.
The menu presents a huge selection of Anju, Korean style street food -think Korean tapas. My favorite- innovative Ssam wraps including Pork Belly, Duck Confit and Shrimp. Sauces to top all those great fillings include Ginger Aioli, Sesame Aioli and Chipotle Jang.
The Korean barbecue seemed beyond the point considering the feast we had just indulged in, so we skipped it, but I'm sure it’s wonderful, if that’s what you’re after.
There’s a great wine list highlighting crisp and acidic varietals like Viogners, Sancerre and German Rieslings, to complement the contemporary Asian flavors on the menu, and inventive cocktails-renown mixologist Pablo Moix consulted with manager Chris Heyman to create a signature selection of cocktails- utilizing ingredients like cracked serrano pepper, fresh watermelon, lavender, cinnamon and star anise. Also offered are a sizable selection of beer, Sake and Soju.
And to finish- a Litchi Parfait sprinkled with a chili pine nut praline I couldn’t stop eating, even after stuffing myself. My advice-get to MoKo now!
9540 Culver Boulevard
Culver City, CA 90232