After craving the type of tender beef that is only served at Korean barbecue recently, I began searching for “Korean restaurants” in Colorado Springs. It would seem that they are few and far between, with only one in particular maintaining five out of five stars: Momo Korean Restaurant.
I stifled my disappointment that it wasn’t a barbecue-your-own type of restaurant, but as I pulled up to Momo with my friends, I realized it was located on the end of a small shopping hub, near Louie’s Pizza and Illusions.
At first glance, the restaurant is nothing extraordinary. It’s small and has limited decorations. In fact, I wondered to myself if this was the correct place at all.
It was only after entering and interacting with the staff that it slowly fell into place exactly why 104 customers had all rated them so highly, in just a matter of months since their opening.
We were greeted immediately and the hostess took our orders with the utmost cheeriness. The banchan (반찬; 飯饌), which is typically served as appetizers or snacks prior to the main course, contained flavors and textures that I highly adored, from the kimchi to the bean sprouts. The stir-fried potato dish had just the right amount of salt while the seaweed salad was deliciously tangy.
Miso soups were delivered and subsequently demolished in a matter of seconds, after which the owner came out and personally greeted each table. The level of care and generosity within each of the staff members was honestly astonishing. Per my friend’s words: “I feel like I’ve come home to my Korean aunt’s house.”
It was only a few minutes later that the main course arrived and my heart actually skipped a beat at seeing my Bi Bim Bop. Beef bulgogi, which I’d been yearning for days, sat properly upon a delicately arranged bed of vegetables and steamed rice. I remember closing my eyes on that first bite, just so I’d be able to truly appreciate all the flavors coming together.
After a few minutes of my friends and I carnivorously descending upon our plates, the owner brought us each a bottle of water. He’d noticed that we’d all but finished our previous drinks and asked us how the meal was. We simply couldn’t tell him how much we enjoyed it and he was delighted that one of my friends was in love with the Korean fried rice.
I thought something sweet might pair off well from how rich this dish was. Then, almost as if I had wished it into existence, the hostess brought us a handful of chocolates and cookies!
I’ll be honest, those did not last long and before I knew it, I no longer had any more sweets in front of me. I was a bit disappointed that I’d eaten them so quickly and jokingly told my sister, “they never brought me dessert, I guess.” I highly doubt they heard me but a few seconds later, the owner appeared at our table and asked if we would like a few more cookies to which we all eagerly nodded “yes.”
By the end of the evening, I was feeling rather plump but also extremely sorry that I didn’t have any room left to try other dishes. The Hot Kimchi Stew, sitting at $13, is next on my list and I will absolutely be returning for their lunch specials.
For just $13, I couldn’t quite believe just how much food they provide and the quality of service they offer. It’s been a long time since I’ve felt such compassion from a business and they truly deserve that five-star rating.
If you’d like to pay your own visit to Momo Korean Restaurant, they are located at 2761 Briargate Blvd, Colorado Springs, CO and are typically open from 4:30 p.m.-9 p.m.