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March 12, 2014

YPs Enjoy Korean Cuisine at Hana Next Door

Hosted by the Mosiac Action Team

Heather Bohrer

By Ashley Abedini, CarMax
Ambassadors Team Member

Last week a group of young professionals met at Hana Next Door for our monthly Dine Around.

I consider myself an amateur foodie, or fatty as my friends and family like to graciously put it. My big foodie dream: to channel my Middle Eastern background and start a Mediterranean food truck called “Sadam’s Kabobs.” So I guess it should be no surprise I’m a big fan of ethnic food. That being said, I am pretty embarrassed to admit I have never had a full Korean meal before this Dine Around. I am open to trying anything, but just never really thought to seek out Korean before. So I was pretty excited to get the opportunity to check it out.

Hana Next Door is right next door to their larger Hana restaurant that is conveniently located in Old Town square. This space was cozier and brighter than the larger Hana counterpart. I was the first to arrive, but others soon followed. There was a good mix of people in attendance for the Dine Around, including a lawyer, an engineer, and a future-accountant. (No, this is not the start to a joke.) Once we finished introducing ourselves, conversation flowed freely. Topics ranged from traveling abroad, the hilarious imagination of children, and the perils of drinking too much sake.

Eunice Kim, one of the owners of the restaurant, came out and briefly introduced herself. Eunice is a sassy lady, whose enthusiasm for her business is easily apparent. She went over Korean cuisine with us, and described the items that they served. There was a great selection on the menu, but for the sake of simplicity everyone ordered their own customized bibimbap.

BIbimbop. BiBIMbop. BibimBOP. Isn’t that fun to say out loud?

Don’t know what the heck this is? Don’t worry, you aren’t alone. Bibimbop is actually a signature Korean dish that consists of rice and an array of vegetables and choice of meats, an egg, and served with a red pepper paste. Bibim means mixing, and bap means rice. The mixing usually happens at the table right before eating. It is a relatively simple dish that is full of flavor. Our bibimbaps were great. They were served with small sides of kimchi, sesame green beans, and marinated cucumbers. We were offered refreshing mocha green tea and red bean ice cream at the end of our meal.

The Dine Around was a fun experience, and gave me teaser into Korean cuisine. I am looking forward to going back.

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