Sunday, June 3, 2007

South Baltimore Restaurant Review: SoHo Eatery

SoHo Eatery has been open at 1504 Light Street for a few months but Johnnycakes and I tried it for the first time last night. We still had not made it to the grocery store and had pretty much emptied the fridge and freezer of potential dinner items. We wanted to try something new and didn't want to go too far so SoHo Eatery was a perfect solution. We tend to not eat out that often but our grocery situation had grown quite dire.

SoHo Eatery specializes in Korean and Japanese cuisine and also has a rather extensive sushi menu. We had received their menu in the mail a couple of times and had a sneak peak at their offerings prior to going. The menu is actually quite diverse and a little quirky. In addition to a traditional Korean section, the menu features a variety of teriyaki dishes, fruit smoothies, salads featuring fruit and tofu and wraps! The menu also includes a "late night" portion with mozzarella sticks and french fries and a coffee and espresso items. We learned when we got there that they do not actually offer the coffee items or many of the "late night" menu items because of a lack of demand.

The decor is quite eccentric and fun! This small restaurant only has three tables for two, sushi bar seating for two and a small counter top with two stools. Two psychedelic style arm chairs are a notable feature at the window side two-top. A fish tank with tiny fish also keeps you occupied while waiting for your food. We decided to order the food "to-go" because it was getting late and why not enjoy the food in the comfort of our own home.

Johnnycakes knew before we got there he wanted the Bulgogi, a traditional Korean BBQ style beef dish, that we had made at home many times. At least we thought we were making Bulgogi all that time, but it turns out our version and the SoHo Eatery shared few common features. He also ordered miso soup for a starter and gyoza (dumplings) to start. Each main dish came with three sides and rice. He ordered the Chapchae (glass noodles with mixed vegetables) and sauteed mixed vegetables. I can't seem to remember what his other side was.

I was very undecided about what I wanted to eat but ended up ordering a beef teriyaki combo, with sauteed kale, a vegetable pancake and Kong Namul (Korean style seasoned bean sprouts).

We got the food home and immediately dug in. I was expecting steamed gyoza but they were fried. They definitely delicious because we ate all six of them but I would have preferred steamed gyoza. I also wasn't crazy about the dipping sauce. The beef teriyaki was absolutely delicious! I highly recommend this dish to everyone. The beef was actually three skewers stuffed high with tender, well-seasoned and spicy beef that melted in your mouth. The vegetable pancake was very colorful and very satisfying in a pancake sort of way. The sauteed vegetables were delicious as well. Johnnycakes was not crazy about the Bulgogi, probably because it was so different from the dish we make which is very spicy and has a lot of tofu in it. (Don't worry! I'm sure our version will make it on this blog one day.) We expected it to have a lot more spice and flavor but unfortunately, it was rather bland. The Chapchae, however, were very spicy, and had an unusual texture. The item was still quite tasty.

Overall, we really enjoyed our first experience at the SoHo Eatery despite a few items we were not crazy about. I will definitely order the beef teriyaki and vegetable pancake again. The sushi menu looks quite extensive and diverse. Another added benefit was the cost! All the items we mentioned above only costs us $21.40 and we still have plenty of leftovers in the fridge.


Anonymous said...

The bulgogi at Soho eatery is quite authentic. It is actually very good and my guess is that at home you are not making bulgogi, but rather a derivative of bulgogi.

Anonymous said...

Just noticed there's internet connection to this great Japanese place!

Anyone wants to take an order for pickup?

Go to!!!