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Mar 15, 2007 09:55 AM

Midori - Cola., SC (Yo, SweetPea)

I've been to Midori twice recently. Located at 301 Percival Road near its intersection with Forest Dr., Midori is housed in a small strip center with two other shops. One of which is a small international grocery store.

On my first visit, I ordered my standard toeji bulgogi (spicy pork). The meat was thinly sliced, tender, appropriately hot and not overly sweet. Very good. My companion ordered Kalbi and she said it was better than Obok's but not as good as New Seoul's (RIP). Apparently, it tasted good but was not quite rare enough and wasn't charred.

On our second visit, we ordered the seafood pancake for starters, only we asked they hold the seafood and make it a vegetable pancake. We ran into a bit of a language barrier at this point but it was worked out when another employee with better english skills came over. Moral: they do have someone there that can understand what you're saying. The pancake was easily enough for four as an app and it was delicious. Next, we split toeji jeon gol, a spicy pork and tofu stew. We let the broth reduce and the concentrated flavors were rich and satisfying. We were glad to find someone serving this dish. Our only complaint was the little pieces of pork they used were overly fatty.

We were also served about a dozen side dishes that were all good.

Don't be put off by the location or the neon beer signs in the window. The folks inside are friendly. However, don't let the waitress dissuade you from ordering what you want as she tried to do to one of our group on our first visit. To me, Midori is in the vein of a true chowhound place. The timid will never venture there but the more adventurous will be rewarded.

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  1. Big thanks......I'm on it. That area is so unusual. Before I-77, we used to ride our bikes through Fort Jackson and sometimes via Percival. They had a sign by that little strip center that said "topless grills" that we never stopped laughing at. Gives new meaning to strip center I guess. Now there's all that Wall-everything on the other side of Forest Dr. but Percival is, well, Percival. I hope it remains unchanged. I've had some fine food out that way. But wait, a seafood pancake but hold the seafood? That reminds me of someone's post of ordering a whopper but hold the meat. That's just too funny!

    1 Reply
    1. re: SweetPea

      I've ridden the fort a few times in the past. Rather hilly. I'd usually go out 378 and ride the flats. Yeah, a seafood pancake sans seafood is pretty funny. Obok offers a seafood pancake and a veggie pancake, which is very good. I can't get past the oysters they use sometimes, although I enjoy oysters otherwise.

    2. What's wrong with Obok's oysters? The flats - I can't believe it. On the way out to the flats (old shop road I guess) I discovered that corn grew on stalks in a multitude. Got off my bike and walked into the field and was amazed. I thought it was one ear per stalk. I'm not from Kansas, Toto. The oysters?

      9 Replies
      1. re: SweetPea

        >I thought it was one ear per stalk.

        Now that's funnier than my seafood pancake, hold the seafood.

        I wasn't clear on the oyster thing. It was actually the oysters in the seafood pancake at New Seoul I didn't care for. When I went to Obok they had an veggie pancake that's delicious, so I was trying to recreate that experience at Midori. Do you know any of the folks at Outspokin' on Devine St.?

        1. re: Cpt Wafer

          No, not anymore. I think my bike tires have dry rot. And I think my sidi shoes are on the wall as memorabelia. Do you know if Midori is open for lunch?

          1. re: SweetPea

            I don't think they do lunch but you could call (803) 790-8890. You might get an english speaker on the line ;^). Did you ever run into a rider/mechanic named Lane Phillips?

            1. re: Cpt Wafer

              I don't know - I just haven't been there enough to know people by name. Seriously, they were amazed at my sidis. I donated them for wall art when I got look and that was 2 years ago.

              1. re: SweetPea

                Lane introduced me to Korean food back in '89. We used to go to Oriental Garden on Main, where Mac's is now. They had the best egg rolls ever. Lane's been a fixture in shops and on roads around town for 30+ years. He was in a terrible crash in Oct. '06 and was released from Richland, Monday. Just thought you might have known him. I think I may take him to Midori tonight.

                Stopped by a new Mexican place on Dreher Rd. last night. It's located in the house that used to be occupied by the Russian restaurant. Everything was a couple notches above the usual Monterrey places around town. It was all so fresh. I wonder if they can keep that up after they've been open a few months. Anyway, it might be worth checking out soon if you like enchiladas and burritos and stuffed peppers, etc.

                1. re: Cpt Wafer

                  Gee, maybe I do know him. I was racing in '89 and in the shop more frequently - at prior locations. A bike crash? Sadly I didn't know oriental food back then and missed the Oriental Garden experience. I love authentic Mexican and a great stuffed pepper is a real find. Dreher Rd is um.... give me a hint. The Russian place - had a hard time keeping up to par with the heath inspectors I heard - never went there..

                  1. re: SweetPea

                    Not sure how authentic the new place (sorry don't know name) is but the cook is from Mexico and his wife is from Puerto Rico. My wife asked her how that worked and she said they have to work on it. Dreher Rd. connects US1 to Platt Springs Rd. and is at the confluence of US1 and Klapman Blvd. (SC12). If you see Walgreen's you're there, turn left if you're coming from Columbia, right if from I-26.

                    Yes, the Russian place was closed by the inspectors. Right after it opened though it was very good. Stuffed cabbage and borscht. They had a seafood filled pastry that would make you cry it was so good. They had a cold case in the back where you could get butter from France and imported cured meats. They made some wicked good desserts, too. A shame Victor(?) didn't possess better managerial skills.

                    If you are on Dreher Rd. on Friday or Saturday morning or afternoon head away from US1 and stop at Hite's for some whole hog pit cooked Q. It's mustard based but unlike Maurice's, Hite's sauce is savory. Take out only. Ask for a pound or two of "rib-cut, no loin" and get ready for the best pig in central SC (IMHO). The chicken is good too. When I tried the plain old ribs I didn't care for them, but that's ok, just go with the rib-cut. The slaw is made with sweet pickles and is some of the best of its type I've had. Grab a loaf of white bread to go with the Q and you're eatin' like a local.

                    J D Hite & Son
                    240 Dreher Rd
                    West Columbia, SC 29169
                    Phone: (803) 794 - 4120

                  2. re: Cpt Wafer

                    What's the name of this mexican place? I'm always looking for good places in columbia...b/c i feel like we have so few.

                    1. re: izzizzi

                      Sorry, but I don't know the name. It's hard to miss though because it's close to the road and has a deck out front. The menu offers the usual suspects but seems to be of a higher quality, to me, than the other Mexican places in town that I've tried.