New restaurant: Red House

Photos by Martha Cheng

A new Korean restaurant on Koreamoku (the affectionate name for Korean-eatery-saturated Keeaumoku)? Hardly news. But Red House's candy cane red and white mod chairs drew us into this gleaming new space (the shirtless Korean boy bands projected on the wall don't hurt either), and a look at the menu confirmed that this is not your average Korean restaurant. It's the Korean version of Shokudo, with modern touches in both the decor and dishes. For one, everything is spelled tongue-in-cheek: bi bim bap is "bi bim bob" and rolls are "lol." There are perplexing dishes like a cheese "bob" and a "pizza donkatsu." Unfortunately, most of these strange creations are still being tweaked and were not available when we visited.

What we did try: a Red House Spam Egg Lol ($10), what amounts to a pupu version of breakfast Spam, eggs, and rice; Chef Special Wings ($20), well-fried and juicy wings coated in a spicy sauce and topped with peanuts; Red House Topokki Special ($20), chewy Korean rice cakes tossed in a sweet and spicy sauce and served with mandoo and Korean blood sausage. My favorite is the simplest: Red House Spicy Cold Noodle ($10), Korean buckwheat noodles in a shave ice broth, with another spicy and sweet sauce. (Our mouths were burning; you'd think I know how to order better by now.)

Everything was good, the cold noodles excellent even, but in the end, I prefer the simpler, homey Korean restaurants that pack Koreamoku. There's nothing wrong with Red House—it's tasty, it's fun, a bit pricey, maybe—but I'm still loyal to my favorites.

835 Keeaumoku St., 748-9343