Korean Food USA is a new series that showcases Korean and Korean-inspired eateries all around the nation.
“This is a one-woman show restaurant. Follow the house rules. Don’t Make me more angry!,” reads a sign at Ah-Lang, a.k.a Angry Korean Lady, in Honolulu, HI. The “Angry Korean Lady,” owner/cook Won Lam (her mentality: “It’s my restaurant, I can do what I like.”), has put her “anger” into cooking up delicious homestyle Korean dishes at Ah-Lang—which was reviewed as one of the the best Korean restaurants in Hawaii by Honolulu Magazine.
Owner Won Lam, whose humor, ajumma sensibilities and “firecracker” attitude has made her restaurant enjoyable and recognizable, has a strict set of “House Rules,” such as, “If you BYOB, bring me some too, or there’s a corkage fee.” And, “Write down your own order and bring it to me in the Kitchen. If you don’t bring me your order, I won’t make your food.” Break her rules and she’ll go straight up next-door ajumma on you!
With the many Korean fusion restaurants that are increasingly becoming popular, Ah-Lang takes us back to where it all started by serving the traditional Korean dishes that we love. The menu has such a rich variety that it’s hard to just settle for one. Ah-lang serves jjigaes (hot stews) and soups, noodle dishes, rice-based dishes, meats, seafood, and more.
One of the mouthwatering dishes is a spicy Kalbi Jjim, which is a traditional Korean dish of braised beef short ribs, a variety of vegetables, simmered in a beef broth. The meat is extremely tender and falls right off the bone. The restaurant is also known for their Pajeon, a dish that is eaten on many occasions (holidays, rainy days, lonely days, etc) in South Korea. There are different kinds of Pajeons to choose from: Kimchi Jeon, Green Onion and Seafood Jeon, and ones made of meat or fish.
[Photos: (top to bottom) The Fashionably-Forward Foodie; Rae Huo/Honolulu Magazine; Chrissy K/Yelp; Vincent Q/Yelp]