I don't typically review a restaurant unless I've been there at least twice. Sometimes a server is having a bad day, or 50 orders come in all at once-you know the drill, anything can happen when you're dining out. That wasn't the case at Korean House, both of my experiences have been excellent. The restaurant is right on College Street in downtown Asheville. Situated in the old Fiore's restaurant, it's a nice space with soaring ceilings. They have lunch specials everyday, including a lunchbox for $8.95.
We started with a pan fried tofu topped with seaweed and a house sauce, Yang Nyum Tofu. The seaweed totally makes this dish. The tofu is soft and subtle while the seaweed brings an intense umami flavor. It played nicely with the dry German Riesling my husband and I ordered. He ordered the pork bul go gi and I wanted to try the kan pung shrimp a fried shrimp with garlic sauce. Both of our lunch boxes came with different side dishes. I was thrilled I got the housemade Korean squash pickles again (see photo below, top right corner). I would buy these pickles by the gallon they're that good. Also included in my lunch box was brown rice, kimchi, fried vegetable dumplings, kimbab (Korean style rice roll), vegetable pancake, and potato in a sweet soy sauce.
When asked, our server told us that all of the pickles and side dishes are made in house. The Korean squash pickles are made daily and are served on the second day. The kimchi, although not quite as good as the housemade stuff at Kim's Oriental Food & Gifts, is delicious and spicy.
For the care taken in every bite, this Asheville restaurant is a hidden treasure. Two other new places are opening next door to Korean House along College Street; a nightclub, called Room Nine, and a second Twisted Laurel location. I'm hoping this added foot traffic will keep Korean House open for a very long time.