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Mar 1, 2013 08:24 PM

Report - Mokomandy

I recently heard high praise from a friend about Mokomandy, a (get this!) Korean-Cajun restaurant in Great Falls Plaza (on Algonkian Parkway) in Sterling. Not one to dally, two friends and I had dinner there a few days later; the meal was outstanding. Several other colleagues went back a few days later after hearing about our experience and had an equally impressive meal. I'm surprised there hasn't been more mention and/or discussion of this place on the Chowhound board, so I'll try to get the ball rolling.

We started with Foie Gras dumplings. I’m not normally a huge fan of foie gras, but this was just about a perfect ‘small plate’. The richness and delicate texture of the duck was complemented by the crunch of some shaved vegetables and an acidic (seemingly citrus-infused) plum sauce. Because one member of our party had spent several years living in Montreal we had to try the Poutine. On arrival it looked like nothing more than a pile of fries with cheese with a little bacon; after digging in, however, we discovered the (delicious) gravy was hiding in a basin beneath, and the plate lacked any semblance of fries, cheese, or gravy by the time we were done with it. Next-up: shrimp and grits. This was probably my favorite dish of the evening. The grits were rich and the shrimp cooked to perfection. The most interesting part, however, was the seasoning - what initially looked to be a sprinkling of paprika or cayenne was instead a Korean chile with an unreal smoky flavor that built on the palate over the course of 10s of seconds. The potroast sliders were also an (albeit slightly greasy) highlight. Only disappointment of the night was the boudin balls - they lacked sufficient flavor for me - and the too-dry fava ‘nuts’ (from the Snacks and Sides menu).

This, and Taste of Burma, deliver the most flavorful food I’ve experienced in Sterling, Reston, Leesburg, and points in between. Taste of Burma often has service issues; the service at Mokomandy was exemplary - fairly detailed questions about the food were answered clearly and completely; plates arrived and disappeared at appropriate times - and the place has a sharp, minimalist, modern look to it. The three of us had a cocktail and beer each - the options available are way above average - and left having completely stuffed ourselves with fantastic food for ~$125.

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  1. in this day and age of cultural mash-up, it sounds plausible, even STL has Korean tacos, so why not? sounds interesting. 20 years ago (and in Sterling no less) I would have said this is a hoax. pity when I'm in the DC area, I never make it out that way. I'd try it. looks like it's been around a couple of years according to a google search.

    1. Thanks for this! I have a friend staying at Algonkian Park and was looking for a place to take her. This looks perfect, and I'll post my experience afterwards.

      1 Reply
      1. re: grubstreet

        Make a reservation on weekends. The place is hopping. If you are not able to get a seat, the Japanese place a few doors down is not bad.

        We ate at MM a few months ago and enjoyed it, but it was one of those nights where everything was so crazy that we didn't keep a lot of notes about the food. IIRC, they have a decent beer list, too.

      2. I went there last night with a friend and had a very nice meal. The dining room is nicely appointed, tables aren't too close together, and you forget that you're in a strip mall (except for the sight of throngs of little kids in karate uniforms going to class next door).

        It would have been fun to go with more people so that we could have tried more dishes. We had kale chips with our drinks (these were a bit greasy, actually), but my gin fizz was excellent. Then we ordered two 'medium' plates: shrimp étouffée and beef bulgoki (the waiter explained that the restaurant doesn't 'fuse' Korean and Cajun cuisine so much as present versions of both. The shrimp was absolutely excellent, perfectly cooked, with the sauce seasoned beautifully. Bulgoki was also delicious, if not quite as outstanding as the shrimp.

        The service was very attentive. I'll certainly go back if in the area.

        And just a general question, not really about the restaurant itself: why don't more American restaurants have cheese as an option for those of us who don't really care for sweet desserts?

        1 Reply
        1. re: grubstreet

          Amen to your last comment. We always get cheese for dessert when we're in France, for instance.

          This place is on my list because of the foie gras dumplings, which they don't seem to serve at brunch. ;-(

          But it seems like such a haul for us, I keep putting off going there - and we're never in the area!

          Thanks for the review.

        2. Anyone interested can check this thread for ChowMeet info for 06/11/2013 at 6pm: