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Adam Express, Korean-Based Carryout - Owners Bae Hyolyuk and Boo Hyang in Mount Pleasant - Closed


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Last place I ate? Adams Express on Mount Pleasant Street. Three page menu: Chinese, sushi and Korean. A tasty little serving of Bi Bim Bap that was not what you'd enjoy at Yechon but did not involve a 40-minute car trip. Even better: some allegedly octopus-oriented dish (I think they actually used squid) involving onion, garlic, cabbage and copious garlic and peppers that almost smells like rotting fish when you get it but -- like certain cheeses and fermented fish condiments -- tastes nasty good once you shovel it into your mouth. Almost as good for lunch three days later and it has the added benefit of ensuring that no one comes near you for the rest of the day.

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I'm a fan of Adam Express as well. The sushi rolls are surprisingly good; I love the spicy tuna rolls and the interesting take on shrimp tempura rolls, with lettuce and mayonnaise. I tried the tasty Bi Bim Bap just last night.

Cheap, tasty and a few blocks from my house. And the storefront is the size of a phone booth.

The elderlyish couple running the place is extremely friendly. It's little joints like this that make me love living in an interesting and diverse neighborhood.

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I really, really, really wanted to like this place. I love that it's a total mom and pop with pics of the kids and grandkids on the wall. The setup reminds me very much of Thai X-ing if that says anything. Therefore, I don't want to be too quick to judge the entire place. But going on the kimchee chigae and bulgogi, the Korean foods didn't show that much promise.

Kimchee chigae stock was a little on the bland side and really needed more meaty flavor to the broth. I think maybe it also would have helped if the kimchee had been a little bit more "ripe." I was also very surprised to uncover beef ribeye in the bottom of my bowl rather than pork, which I believe is a little more traditional for this dish. Plus the menu says pork, so my assumption is that was referring to the stock. I guess I was hoping for something that would have indicated red flecks on a white t-shirt, which is a classic kimchee chigae trademark.

The bulgogi may quench the desire for someone in the mood for it, but for me it was a bit too Chinese in style. I think I was looking for something slightly sweeter and with a touch more sesame oil.

The kitchen is open and it's fun to watch mom and pop cook. They definitely have a rhythm with the number of people coming in and out. Though I actually don't know if they can handle many more. Ma rolls the sushi and watches the stove when Pop is working the deep fryer.

That being said, (1) one of the few Korean places in town; (2) the service while minimal is very sweet - they sat me down at the counter and told me to watch TV while I waited and happily packed up the leftovers; (3) it's fun to watch them cook in the open kitchen; (4) Dadgum it I want this place to be good and succeed! And I am actually curious about their fried chicken with sauce.

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I recently left Mt. Pleasant, so while I used to hit this place frequently, I haven't in a good couple months. But regardless, I'm a fan. I don't have any experience with Korean food, so I have no basis for comparison here, I just know that I love their bibimbap. It's basic stuff, but I appreciate being able to get pretty good-for-you food from a takeout joint.

I've also had their spicy squid, which is no joke. I enjoy spicy food, and this nearly blew my head off.

synaesthesia, try the chicken bulgogi sometime. It's got a nice heat to it, too. It's got a sauce not at all like the beef, which I didn't understand, but a Korean friend of mine tells me that's typical. I think the Washington Post piece on Adam Express mentions the "young" kimchee. I've tried, but I just don't dig the very ripe kimchee, so I'm fine with theirs.

The only things I've ordered that I regretted were off their Chinese menu. Pretty typical middle-of-the-road Chinese fare - too much sauce, overly sweet, eh.

It's just a nice, inexpensive neighborhood takeout joint, good food, nothing crazy. And the couple who run it are too cute for words. They're just lovely.

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