Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Two Youngs: Korean in Catonsville

Looking for new food -- like walking in snow -- is often easiest if you step in the footprints of people who know where they're going.

You should follow The Kwok's Blog to Two Youngs restaurant in Catonsville for basic Korean food. I stayed right with The Kwok's post and ordered soon du bu, and I spooned up the tofu and seafood stew -- spicy heat for a cold winter night. It's a strong dish. Not outrageously spicy, but thick and filling like any other stew. With kimchi, it was a tray of strong flavors that pleased me, but that did encourage me to grab a palette-cleansing dessert on the way home.

Two Youngs is a counter-service restaurant inside the Hanoori Town portion of the shopping center anchored by the H Mart. You order from the items posted on the wall above the counter. Then you wait for the number on your receipt to pop up on the electronic sign.

It's a casual crowd. Often, that Hanoori Town is dominated by folks who look to be college students or folks in their 20s. I get the vibe that it's an affordable place for Korean food, simpler food and cheaper bills than places like Shin Chon Garden. If you're at the stage of life where you schedule "date night," I wouldn't recommend Two Youngs unless you know your spouse loves to explore Korean joints. But on a weeknight, soon du bu was a great $9 dinner.

The soon du bu comes out in a cast iron bowl with a side of kimchi and a bowl of rice. It's a spicy red broth, thickened with soft pieces of tofu that were my favorite part -- as The Kwok predicted. There was also seafood, including a clam, some octopus and two shrimp. Two shrimp still in their shells. I was reading as I ate. As I chewed the first shrimp, I thought, "This seems familiar, but not familiar. It's like shrimp, but . . . . Oh!" I actually swallowed the whole thing rather than be the guy who spit shrimp out at the table.

Two Youngs offers sushi and a long line of Korean dishes. I'd recommended the restaurant in this same location last year when it was called the Beseto Food Court, but management has changed and turned the whole area into Hanoori, which includes Mangoberry and the kitchen store in Hanoori Home Plaza downstairs. It can't tell if there is a single restaurant or two restaurants in that area. Under Beseto, the area to the left of the entrance sold sushi, and the back area sold Korean.

Two Youngs is a great stop if you're stopping to shop at H Mart. If you're there, definitely check out the other places in that center, including Mangoberry and and Golden Krust for Jamaican takeout down the row. Also check out Hunan Taste, which is getting great reviews on Chowhound (1, 2) for authentic Hunan Chinese food.

Two Youngs
822 N. Rolling Road
Catonsville, MD 21228

NEAR: Two Youngs is in the Hanoori Town portion of the shopping center anchored by the H Mart. You walk inside past the Mango Berry and to the counter at the back of the restaurant.

Two Youngs on Urbanspoon

1 comment:

Sarah said...

Mmmmmm... I love trying new things over there, but following footsteps is also a great idea. Might have to try this.

I'd bet the college students are largely UMBC students-- I went to H-Mart all the time during my time there. It's one of the closest shopping area to campus, and UMBC has a lot of interest in diverse and international experiences as a whole.