East Meets West at Urban Seoul; We Get a Seasonal Snack

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With the back-to-back hearty chili we gave you, we thought some back-to-back meat-free posts would cater to (1) the summer heat, (2) dessert lovers and (3) vegetarians. Well, almost- the Chunk-N-Chip ice cream sandwich had bacon (because, bacon). This week, we're at it again with a popular summer food that morphs into an endless variety of items most of the world can't live without. Think- cornmeal (arepas, cachapas, cornbread), penicillin (life saving) and whiskey (also life saving)! Yes, we're speaking of the bright, yellow kernels you've probably seen on every menu this summer- corn. 

With the chili cook-off postponed this past weekend, the world became our oyster. We ran errands, watched baseball, tested the beer list at an OC BBQ staple (more details in a future post) and had bay side brunch with great friends. Then, in a small time frame slotted between lunch and errands, we poked our heads into the much-talked-about Urban Seoul - brain child of OC Restaurateur Bronnie Lee and Chef Kacy Jun.

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The 2-column menu is wonderfully simple and wonderfully complex all at the same time- Mexican-American with Korean influence on one side, Korean based with Mexican influence on the other. While we weren't hungry (the aforementioned lunch..), there was no way we were going to skip trying at least one of these savory, inventive dishes; so we opted for the elote. For the unfamiliar, Elote is a roasted/grilled corn snack.  Urban Seoul's version? Nailed it. Fairly traditional with a touch of Korean kick- mayonnaise, cotija cheese, cilantro, paprika, lime and (thankfully) Korean chili flakes. It was  savory, creamy, crunchy, refreshing, and a little sweet all at once. 

While the a previous glimpse of the overall menu is what brought us through the door, we'd be remiss if we didn't mention the stellar (and well thought out) beer selection. Nobody is mad craft beer is now relevant and important in Orange County, but seeing the same selection over and over again hurts when there's so many good selections to be had. Not at Urban Seoul. It's as carefully crafted as the food menu, featuring quality local brewers/beers and some one offs you can't find elsewhere. More beers and snacks await us at Urban Seoul, but we're grateful to have sampled the elote, while it was still beautifully in season.